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Women's work-life economics

Heather Boushey, Kate Bahn


More than 50 years ago, President Johnson signed into law the Equal Pay Act. It bans employers from discriminating against employees by paying employees of one sex less than those of the opposite sex for equal work. Yet large gaps remain in the pay of men and women — and pay gaps are even larger for women of color relative to white men. While discrimination and differences in where women work can explain some of the gap, scholars have documented that women’s continued greater responsibility for care — both inside the home and in caregiving jobs — is also an important factor.

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