The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Labour Market Discrimination

  • Irene Bruegel
Reference work entry


The facts of continued discrimination on grounds of sex and race point up some of the inadequacy of neoclassical labour market theory. The idea that pay reflects value, bar peripheral imperfections, is at odds with the experience of blacks and women in the labour market. Indeed if the newly won concepts of comparable worth and equal value now embodied in the American and British equal pay legislation were truly effective, many established pay relativities would be undermined. Neoclassical labour market theory merely adds discrimination on to its existing model but discrimination, as a structural feature of the labour market, calls up a very different approach to the analysis of labour markets.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Bruegel
    • 1
  1. 1.