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Report of a Seminar

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An Agenda for Basic Research on Comparable Worth Heidil. Hartm~nn, Patrician. Roos, an~Donaki]. Neiman INTRODUCTION Background Beginning in the late 1970s, the question of whether the differences in average wages between jobs held mainly by women and jobs held mainly by men are equitable has come to the fore as a major social issue. Indeed, it was identified as "the civil rights issue of the eighties" by Eleanor Holmes Norton when she was chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commis- sion (Norton, 19791. Increasingly the claim is heard that jobs ought to be paid according to their intrinsic worth, as measured by such factors as skill required, responsibility entailed, and effort involved, and that the wage levels of jobs of "comparable worth," that is, equal worth or equal value, ought to be equal. 1 Concern with the average wage levels of occupations and jobs stems from two relatively unchanging aspects of the labor market: extreme job segrega- tion by sex and the well-known gap in pay between men and women. Considering only workers employed full time year round, women on aver- age earn about 60 percent of what men earn, and this gap shows little sign of . _ 1 Although the issue of comparability can apply to wage differentials between all jobs (e.g. football players and plumbers), this discussion is concerned only with those occupational differen- tials that are thought to be affected by stereotyping, bias, or discrimination based on sex, race, or ethnicity, and the primary focus is on sex. 3

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4 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN lessening. Moreover, the sex segregation of jobs is also persistent; many jobs are stereotyped as "male" or "female"; fully two-thirds of men or women would have to change occupations for their distributions across occupations to be similar. Social science literature has established a correla- tion between average occupational wage levels and the extent of female representation in the occupation: the more a job is done by women, the lower its average wage level. It is this connection between "femaleness" and lower wage levels that is challenged by the comparable worth strategy. Comparable worth advocates believe that the lower wage rates of female jobs are the result at least partly of discrimination and that wage rates should therefore be realigned. The comparable worth strategy generally involves examination ofthe relative wage rates of jobs held predominantly by women and those held predominantly by men and study of the bases of these wage rates. Via job evaluation procedures, which attempt to establish objective criteria for such job features as skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, the relative value of jobs is established and wage rates are realigned accordingly. The general goal of a comparable worth strategy is pay equity equitable occupational wage rates that are not influenced by the sex, race, orethnicity of the incumbents. Comparable worth claims are being raised by workers and their represent- atives through legislation, collective bargaining, litigation, and other means.2 Much of the legislature activity occurring at state and local levels is directed at state and municipal civil service systems; comparable worth studies, task forces, and implementation efforts are being undertaken in many jurisdictions (Reichenberg, 1983; Bureau of National Affairs, 1984; National Committee on Pay Equity et al., 191341. With respect to federal law, in 1981 the U.S. Supreme Court in Gunther v. County of Washington (101 S. Ct. 2242) seemed to open a door for comparable worth claims when it held that a claim of sex-based wage discrimination in dissimilarjobs could be heard under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And recently, in AFSCME v. State of Washington (578 F. Supp. 846), a federal district court held that the state of Washington must pay wages for state civil service jobs in accordance with the jobs' worth as measured by a study commissioned by the state. Many comparable worth claims are being addressed to very large employers with rawer bureaucratic personnel systems that establish pay rates for jobs according to a variety of administrative critena. Nearly all claims are addressed to single employers and are concerned with an employ- er's job assignment and wage-setting practices.3 2 For more thorough histories ofthe comparable worth issue, see Treiman and Hartmann (1981), Cain (1985), and a special issue of Public Personnel Management on comparable worth (Reichen- berg, 1983). 3 For a discussion of the nature of comparable worth claims, see Hartmann ( ~ 984) .

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 5

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6 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN Although the committee generally concluded that the comparable worth strategy merited serious consideration as a remedy for wage discrimination, it also pointed out that it had undertaken no examination of implementing comparable worth strategies or of their economic and social consequences. For example, would there be disemployment effects as a result of raising the wages of nurses and secretaries relative to other wage rates? Would changes in the relative wages of different occupations be temporary or long-lasting? What would be the economic consequences for firms? Would firms that raise the wage rates of women's jobs suffer financially? What would be the effect on the total economy? Would there be strong inflationary effects? In addition to possible unknown economic effects, the implementation of comparable worth policies may have far-reaching social effects, altering perceptions of men and women, self-esteem, behavior, job choices, and so forth. From a policy point of view, the costs and benefits of a comparable worth strategy would be illuminated by a comparison with other equal employment oppor- tunity and affirmative action strategies. Comparable worth strategies do not address all forms of discrimination that may be present in the labor market. Focused on whatever discriminatory clement there is in the relative wage rates of jobs within a single employer, it offers no remedy to ensure equal access to all occupations and all work- places, some of which are more desirable than others; equal promotional opportunities; equal access to job training or educational programs; and so on. Comparable worth policies may well affect how these other, more tradi- tional equal employment opportunity policies function and may help or hinder achievement oftheirgoals. In this context it should be pointed out that the concept of comparable worth is as relevant to the relative wage rates of jobs held disproportionately by minority groups as it is to "women's jobs." To the extent that "minority jobs" exist and their wage levels are influenced by race-based wage discrimination, remedies using the comparable worth approach would apply. The wage levels of jobs that are held predominantly by minority women may be even more depressed by discrimination. Virtu- ally no examination of the effect of race or ethnic discrimination on the relative wage levels of jobs has been undertaken, however. Research Issues Two general themes and, within these, six major topics emerged from the seminar discussions and hence structure this agenda of needed research. It is clear that research is needed first on occupational wage differentials and discrimination, including their underlying causes. We need to under- stand a good deal better than we do now how wages are set and what factors lead to wage differentials in order to decide, both in general and in particular

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 7 instances, whether and to what extent wage discrimination affects the rela- tive average wage rates of jobs and occupations. It bears stressing at the outset that, in the view of the seminar participants, issues related to wage determination require a multidisciplinary approach. Economics, sociology, and anthropology in particular offer relevant perspectives and methodolo- g~es. Within this general area three specific research topics were identified: 1. We need to understand better how wages are set within enterprises and how they are affected by other employer practices, such as job assignment, as well as by workers' decisions. Although many assumptions are made about the impact of market forces and competition on wage-setting pro- cesses within organizations, little research on wage determination within firms has been undertaken. 2. Additional work is needed on the behavior of workers within the labor market. Despite a great deal of research to date, there is still no consensus on the relative importance of choices made by workers, particularly choices made by women workers, regarding investment in human capital; assump- tions made by employers regarding women's labor force commitment; and still other factors that help to produce gender differentials in occupational status and earnings. 3. A relatively neglected topic, perhaps because it is taken for granted, is the set of underlying cultural assumptions and belief systems that structure people's attitudes regarding appropriate pay levels for men's and women's jobs and appropriate work for women and men. How does our culture come to value certain kinds of work, or work done by certain kinds of people, more (or less) than other work? The second major research area identified is wage adjustment strategies end theirimpact. If comparable worth is adopted as public policy, we need to determine effective ways to implement the policy and to minimize any adverse impact. In contrast to research on some aspects of wage differentials and labor markets, this general area has received very little attention from the social science research community. Three topics were identified: _e~ ~ my. ,, ,~~^, 1. Ways need to be devised to measure the relative worth of jobs. Since existing job evaluation procedures appear to be the principal available method, attention needs to be devoted to improving job evaluation proce- dures and modifying them to make them appropriate for the assessment of pay discrimination. In particular, the extent of social judgment bias in exist- ing job evaluation systems needs to be assessed and, if it is substantial, eliminated. 2. The economic and other consequences of implementing comparable

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8 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN worth, and in particular the relative impact of various implementation strate- gies, need to be assessed. The costs and benefits of the comparable worth strategy need to be compared with those of other equal employment opportu- nity and affirmative action strategies. Almost nothing is known to date about such questions, although they are crucial in assessing the desirability of alternative policies. 3. Similarly, research is needed on the political aspects of the process of implementing controversial policies such as comparable worth. Issues such as consensus building, power relations in the workplace, and negotiating and other strategies are relevant to how comparable worth policies are implemented and with what effect. What strategies are likely to be most effective and to result in the most desirable policy decisions? Examples of the implementation of comparable worth remedies that come about because of court orders, laws, or collective bargaining need to be assessed for their effectiveness in achieving the desired goals. The seminar participants took a broad view of the research needed to better understand comparable worth. Such research clearly requires a multi- disciplinary approach and the input of experts from several social science disciplines: psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science. The participants did not attempt to set priorities for the research topics suggested. It is likely that each discipline will view priorities some- what differently. In the following, research topics with more immediate practical application to issues of comparable worth implementation are dis- cussed in the section immediately below, "Research on Comparable Worth and Other Wage Adjustment Strategies." Those that aim more at the underly- ing causes of what is observed in the labor market today are discussed in the second major section, "Research on Wage Determinants and Wage Dis- crimination." RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH AND OTHER WAGE ADJUSTMENT STRATEGIES Social Judgments, Social Judgment Biases, and Job Evaluation Procedures The NRC Committee on Occupational Classification and Analysis con- cluded that formal job evaluation procedures are a potentially useful tool for identifying and correcting instances of wage discrimination (Treiman and Hartmann, 19811. These procedures are increasingly being used as a stan- dard for assessing the comparable worth of jobs, in the context of various attempts, including litigation, to revise wage structures and eliminate pay differences based on gender.

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 9 Given the application of job evaluation procedures to this new task, these procedures have again come under close technical scrutiny for the first time since they were first developed nearly 50 years ago. The psychometric bases of many of these procedures have been shown to be flawed, and a variety of problematic features have been identified, particularly those associated with social judgment biases (Treiman, 1979; Treiman and Hartmann, 1981 :Ch. 4; McArthur, in this volume). To the extent that job evaluation plans can be used to uncover and correct pay discrimination within firms, more systematic implementation of exist- ing job evaluation systems can help to reduce the male-female earnings gap. However, to the extent thatjob evaluation systems produce fallible measures of the worth of jobs, they are likely to underestimate the discriminately portion ofthe wage gap, for reasons discussed below. Hence, it is likely that a greater reduction of the gap could be achieved by eliminating the problems of measurement error and bias existing in current job evaluation schemes. It is in this role that the social sciences can be most useful. Industrial psychologists approach the problem of bias existing in job evaluation systems at the level of measurement, since it is at that level that one can investigate the role that social judgments play in introducing bias into the evaluation of the worth of jobs.4 As discussed below, there are three junctures in the use of job evaluation as a comparable worth strategy at which social judgments can introduce bias: deriving job descnptions, deter- mining a set of compensable factors and the weighting assigned to these factors, and evaluating the worth of jobs with respect to identified compen- sable factors. Job Descriptions Job evaluation systems depend on the ability of raters to describe ade- quately and fairly the tasks required for incumbents in jobs. Descnptions given by job incumbents, their supervisors, and expert raters of the qualifi- cations required to perform particular jobs tend to be substantially similar. Given the inherently subjective nature of the process, however, job descnp- tions are vulnerable to systematic errors and biases resulting from stereotyp- ing. Thus, to the extent that women's jobs are undervalued or seen as less responsible as a result of cultural stereotyping, job descriptions of women's jobs may be affected by expectancy bias and may not adequately reflect the abilities required to perform necessary job tasks. 4 This and the following sections rely heavily on the papers by McArthur and Schwab in this volume.

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10 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN "Halo effects" and availability bias may also affect job descriptions. These effects occur when the same aspects of jobs are salient enough to affect one's perception of other aspects (halo effects) and when some of the most available or easily remembered information affects the perception of other aspects. The job descriptions may also reflect self-enhancement bias, since incumbents often enhance the amount of skill and ability needed for their own jobs. This is a particularly difficult problem in the comparable worth context, since research tentatively suggests that men are more likely than women to enhance descriptions of their abilities (McArthur, in this volume). Research questions that need to be addressed in the area of job descriptions include the following: Are there sex differences in the degree of self-enhancement in job descriptions? Under what circumstances and with respect to what attributes of jobs are descriptions by incumbents, supervisors, and experts most likely to differ? How much agreement is there between raters as to how they describe jobs? Does the degree of inter-rater agreement vary for incumbents, supervi- sors, and experts? Are open-ended descriptions, checklists, or other techniques most likely to produce reliable results? How does cultural stereotyping affect job descriptions? Are jobs per- ceived similarly when they are done by women and by men? Specifically, are responsibility and training time requirements downgraded in descriptions of jobs done mainly by women relative to objectively similar jobs performed mainly by men? What about other attributes of jobs? Compensable Factors and Weighting Although existing quantitative job evaluation systems vary in their details, they tend to share certain basic features. A set of attributes of jobs, called compensable factors, is designated and points are assigned to defined levels of each factor. For example, a factor of supervisory responsibility might be designated and a specified number of points assigned depending on the number of people supervised. Each job is evaluated or rated with respect to each of the compensable factors and points assigned. The points for each of the compensable factors are added up, and the total becomes the job worth or job evaluation score for the job in question. These total scores are then used to create a hierarchy of job worth, which is used, sometimes alone and sometimes with other information, to determine the pay rate for each job.

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 11 As is evident from this description, the relative ranking of jobs is heavily dependent on which attributes of jobs are designated as compensable factors and how much weight each factor is assigned (see Treiman, 1984a, for a discussion of this specific point). Historically, factors and factor weights have been chosen to maximize the prediction of existing pay rates, by capturing the implicit policy underlying a firm's existing pay structure. The difficulty with this approach, however, is that it has the effect of incorporat- ing any existing gender bias in wages and salaries (see Treiman and Hart- mann, 1981 :Ch. 4, for further discussion of this point). Even when factors and factor weights are chosen de nova, there is the possibility that traditional cultural stereotypes as to what is valued enter into the choice of compensable factors or the relative weight accorded various factors or bosh. For example, are coordinating activities, which tend to be characteristic of jobs performed mainly by women, identified as a compensable factor, and, if so, what is its weight relative to that of direct supervision, which tends to be characteristic of jobs performed mainly by men? Is being subjected to constant interrup- tions identified as an "unfavorable working condition" comparable to work- ing under noisy conditions? Specific research questions on this topic include the following: What criteria are used for identifying compensable factors for existing job evaluation systems? Does consensus exist across workers (and management) as to what job factors should be compensated? Does this consensus vary by sex? Can job evaluation systems be developed by attempting to capture an underlying consensual basis for making equity judgments across jobs? (See Schwab, in this volume, for more discussion.) Are there potential compensable factors in women's work that are not now recognized as legitimate bases for pay differentials? Are there legiti- mate bases for pay differentials that can be identified over and above the traditional factors of skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions? Are the compensable factors commonly used in job evaluation plans more relevant for men 's jobs than for those of women, so that men's jobs tend to be more favorably rated? Evaluation' of Jobs With Respect to Compensable Factors Evaluating the worth of jobs with respect to compensable factors is the final stage of the job evaluation process, and it too is subject to social judgment biases. There is preliminary evidence that, other things being equal, prestigious jobs or those with high salaries are rated more highly on compensable factors than lower-prestige and lower-paying jobs (McArthur, in this volume; Schwab, in this volume). This labeling bias is thus likely to

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24 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TRElMAN that role is or the process whereby such aspirations translate into attainment. And further research to determine the factors identified by the human capital school, discussed above, is also needed: Do women's expectations about family responsibilities affect their occupational choice? How? A research agenda in the area of occupational choice would include the following questions: 6 What is the relationship between the sex-typing of occupational aspi- rations (as well as expectations) and attainments? To what extent does sex-typing in occupational aspirations account for sex segregation in employment? How do occupational aspirations and expectations change overtime? To what extent do sex differences in ability, skill, or commitment account for differences in occupational placement? How might changes be effected in the labor supply to various jobs? For example, what would be needed to persuade men to enter traditionally female jobs? To what extent do people take jobs that are available to them, rather than undergoing an elaborate job search process? To what extent does sex- typing occur at the personnel office rather than because of individual choice? How do the policies of the armed services' excluding women from certain occupational specialties affect women's job choices? To the extent that marital responsibilities affect women's occupational choices, we would expect women more often than men to choose easy-ent~y/ easy-exit jobs in which skills do not depreciate. To what extent are women more likely than men to work in such jobs? To what extent do women and men have specific occupational knowl- edge about jobs traditionally held by the opposite sex? To what extent does this affect occupational choice? How effective is advertising the pay rates of jobs in increasing the number of women who apply to traditionally male, higher-paying jobs? What is known about the influence of demographic and economic pressures on occupational sex segregation and prospects for pay equity? Further research (in the form of simulation models) is needed to assess likely future levels of sex segregation. Specifically, such models should include research on the age structure of the labor force and of occupations, age differences in job and occupational mobility, differences in cohort size, effects of changes in sex composition on occupational wages, training and skill needs, and whether job export and displacement by technology will have differential effects on the pay and employment prospects of men and women. 6 The first three research topics are taken from Marini end Bnnton (1984).

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 25 Occupational Careers and Work Histories The relevance of occupational careers and work histories derives from the role of labor force experience in explaining the wage gap between men and women. As described above, most supply-side explanations for the earnings gap make the claim that women's lower earnings relative to men's are attributable in large measure to gender differences in the extent and pattern of work experience. Specifically, the argument is made that women earn less than men do because their participation in the labor force is intermittent and hence their total amount of accumulated experience is low relative to that of their male counterparts. In order to test these expectations, researchers need continuous work history data that describe how men and women organize their work lives. Currently there is available for the United States only one major data set with continuous work histories for men the 1968 Johns Hopkins Life History Survey of a sample of men ages 30 to 39 and none for women (Treiman, 1984b). The National Longitudinal Surveys of Labor Force Experience provide data on job and occupation changes at fixed points in time for samples of both men and women for several consecutive years. The Panel Study on Income Dynamics provides similar data for a sample of families who have been followed since 1968. Their longitudinal nature makes these samples very valuable, but, because they do not contain contin- uous work histories, they do not include all job transitions. What we do know about sex differences in work experience comes from survey data about events at particular points in the socioeconomic life cycle (i.e., first job, current job, job 5 years ago). From such data it is clear that differences in total amount of labor force participation affect women's occu- pational opportunities (see Treiman, 1984b, for en overview). We also know that the age pattern of women's labor force participation has changed sub- stantially since the turn of the century. Fewer women drop out of the labor force to have children; indeed, among the youngest cohorts of women, practically no dip in labor force participation is observed during the peak childbearing years. To the extent that continuous participation affects occu- pational mobility, one might expect women's occupational prospects to increase in the future. The problem with this expectation, however, is that current women workers with continuous labor force attachment have an occupational distribution that is very different from that of men. This finding suggests that continuous attachment may not benefit women workers in the same way it does men (see Roos, 1983, for a review and partial test of this proposition). Some researchers have approached these issues by aggregating individual work histories into job or career trajectories in which the question of interest is the pattern of variation in occupational status or income over the course of the career. Our concern is whether men or women, or women with differing

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26 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN family responsibilities, have similar career trajectories. Although such questions are only now beginning to be addressed, preliminary indications are that women have much flatter occupational status and earnings trajecto- ries than do men (Treiman, 1984b). But the reasons for this are far from being adequately understood. Moreover, studies of this topic implicitly assume that most workers have orderly career progressions, although this has not been empirically established; indeed, available evidence (e.g., Evans and Laumann, 1983) suggests the contrary. There are many questions for future research in this area: Do orderly job trajectories (successive jobs) exist at all and, if so, for what categories of workers? Do men and women have different career trajectories? Do men and women with differing levels of family responsibilities differ in their job trajectories? To what extent do formal career paths (established by the organization) and informal career paths (the actual pattern followed by individuals) corres- pond? What are the effects of career ladders (or job tracks) on wage assign- ment? For example, are salaries higher for jobs leading to key parts of the organization? What are the patterns of shifts in and across jobs? Will women who have moved into traditionally male jobs remain in these jobs or will they shift into traditionally female jobs? What is the role of occupational experience in enhancing earnings? Is experience worth more in some kinds of jobs than in others? Is experience worth more in the sorts of jobs men tend to hold than those women tend to hold? How does experience enhance productivity? Is it actually increased productivity that is rewarded, or simply seniority? How does this differ across different sorts of jobs? Do labor force experience, occupational experience, and firm-specific experience differ in their impact on earnings? Can such differences help explain gender differences in earnings? Occupational differences in earn- ings? Culture: Beliefs About Gender and Jobs The NRC Committee on Occupational Classification and Analysis (Treiman and Hartmann, 1981) concluded that there is no strictly scientific or technical basis for determining the relative worth of jobs, because "worth" is ultimately a matter of values. (The report noted, however, that once criteria of worth are agreed to, the establishment of job worth hierar-

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 2 7 chies is amenable to technical solutions.) For this reason, it is important to investigate the varying and competing belief systems underlying the value judgments made about different kinds of jobs and workers. While the cen- trality of the concepts of worth and value to wages is questioned by econo- mists, who view wages as prices that signal us about the allocation of scarce resources, most economists would acknowledge that cultural beliefs and practices do play a role in wage determination. There is some evidence that virtually all societies with wage economies value similar attributes of jobs, since the relative prestige of occupations is essentially similar throughout the world and similar attributes of jobs- mainly skill and responsibility account for their relative prestige (Treiman, 19771. There is also some evidence of consensus within societies regarding what constitutes a "just wage" for different sorts of jobs (Jasso and Rossi, 19771. The available evidence is highly aggregated, however; it refers to very general categories of occupations end to measures such as "prestige" or "just wages" rather than to more specific attributes of value of the kind that would differentiate jobs within individual enterprises. Research is needed on how more generalized cultural beliefs are transformed in workplaces and used as guides in determining wage rates and in assigning "appropriate" jobs to men and women and on what employers and workers value about jobs in specific settings. With respect to the first issue, the use of generalized cultural beliefs in workplaces, it would be of interest to know if there are "folk" models that people use to justify setting differential wages for traditionally male and female jobs. For example, one very important belief system affecting the setting of pay rates in our society is the equation of the worth of jobs with existing pay rates and the belief that wages are determined largely or solely by the operation of the laws of supply and demand. That in actual practice supply and demand may not always be the determining factors or that many factors such as discrimination affect supply and demand may not alter the underlying belief. Furthermore, why are the value systems observed in the workplace often contradictory? For example, night work was historically viewed as appro- priate for nurses but not for other jobs, in which women were competing more directly with men. What are the factors that led to a shift in values during World War II so that, once women were needed for the war effort as riveters, welders, and other skilled workers, their suitability for such blue- collar skilled work was no longer questioned? Why is it that certain "dirty" jobs traditionally held by men are considered inappropriate for women, particularly for white women while nursing, which also involves "dirti- ness," is not, and other dirty jobs such as cleaning are often associated with minority women?

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28 HARTMANN, ROOS, ACID TREIMAN How do cultural constructions of gender, of what it means to be a man or a woman, affect employers' and workers' notions of appropriate jobs for women and men and appropriate wage levels for those jobs? What role does the widely shared belief that women are and should be primarily responsible for household and family care play, in the labor market? Historians have shown how specific cultural constructions of gender have shaped women's lives and influenced perceptions of women as workers (Cott, 1977; Eisen- stein, 1983~; similar analyses are needed for the present. In recent years, scholars of labor studies have developed the concept of work culture to describe the set of beliefs and practices that govern interactions at work (Melosh, 19821; work cultures, too, legitimate or challenge current cultural constructions of work appropriate for women and men. With respect to the second issue what employers and workers value about jobs in specific settings it would be of interest to know how such values are formed, what they are, and how they change. Is there consensus that jobs requiring more skill, responsibility, and effort or those performed under difficult or unpleasant conditions deserve more pay? What about specific measures of these attributes? Even if there is consensus that skill should be rewarded, is there agreement that formal education, years of experience required to become highly qualified, specialized knowledge, or other specific indicators are appropriate measures of skill? What about the skills that many women have as a result of caring for families and keeping households running? Are these acknowledged in the workplace? If consen- sus is lacking with respect to particular classes or measures, is lack of agreement systematic? That is, do employers and employees disagree in systematic ways? Do male and female workers disagree? What about man- ual and nonmanual workers? In short, we need to know far more than we do now about perceptions of what attributes of jobs should be compensated. Apart from assumptions about the value of different attributes of jobs, there is reason to believe that pay rates are affected by assumptions about the value of different sorts of workers. Historically in the United States it was considered appropriate to pay blacks less than whites and women less than men for doing the same job. Indeed, until passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, such distinctions were often incorpo- rated into law, e.g., lower pay for women being explicitly justified on the grounds that men needed higher pay in order to support their families (Kessler-Harris, 1982; May, 19821. Currently, such overt wage discrimina- tion is illegal, and the wage gap between men and women doing the same work has probably narrowed considerably. Shifting values have now led some groups to argue that women and men should in general earn similar salaries even though they typically work in different types of jobs. It is suggested that "women's work" and women themselves need to be reval- ued hence the interest in the comparable worth strategy.

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 29 The overall research issue that emerged from deliberations at the Seminar on Comparable Worth Research is the role that underlying belief systems play in the setting of wages, particularly in the explanation of why men's and women's jobs are valued differently. Our proposed research agenda on underlying belief systems focuses on three major topics: (1) What are the varying belief systems that currently influence the wage-setting process? (2) Is the differential evaluation of male and female tasks reflected in the wage-assignment process? If so, how? and (3) How are competing belief systems reflected in existing job evaluation systems? Existence of BeliefSystems There are several research areas that promise to increase our knowledge of how alternative belief systems may affect the wage-setting process. Ques- tions for research include the following: Discourse analysis is a method used by anthropologists, linguists, psy- chologists, and philosophers of language to investigate verbal or written texts. Would this method usefully uncover the basic assumptions or beliefs about individuals and cultures that underlie the wage-setting process? What belief systems underlie workers' occupational choices? For example, do some beliefs lead men to ha. ~~nint~.r~~.~tr~ in ~vnrlrina in into in which women predominate? ~ TV_~ ^~^ ~ ~ A44 J~JV~I AAA Are peoples' judgments about what salaries should be (i.e., deserved salaries) very different from actual salaries (i.e., existing salaries)? How do peoples' judgments about deserved salaries evolve? How do ideas based in economics affect people's views of the value of work and the appropriate salaries for people and jobs? Do people's valua- tions of jobs reflect, for example, their understanding of their relative value to employers based on their productivity? Do they affect their understanding of shortages or excess supply? With changes in the technology of work, how will the evaluation of men's and women's work change? Does technology contribute to establish- ing new bases for consensus about the evaluation of men's and women's jobs? Do the assumptions regarding the setting of wages for part-time work differ from those for full-time work? To what extent are part-time salaries lower because employers view incumbents (generally women) in those jobs as secondary workers? Analysis of Task and Wage Assignment In addition to knowing what belief systems underlie the wage-setting process, it is important to consider how these belief systems become incor-

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30 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN porated into the wage-setting process. In this context, we propose research on the identification of "male" and "female" tasks and a determination of whether such tasks are differentially valued: What are the component tasks required in jobs that are perceived as female or male? Are these also sex-typed? If tasks are identified as male or female, are male tasks more highly valued? Does adding female tasks (e.g., typing, nurturing, waiting on tables, clerical work) to job descriptions reduce the perceived value of a job? Does the established consensus about the worth of tasks in jobs decline if the number of women entering the field increases? Do the tasks change? If female tasks orjobs are less positively evaluated, how does this affect the compensation assigned? BeliefSystems and lob Evaluation Job evaluation systems always embody a particular value system. When a firm adopts a specific job evaluation system, it accepts a particular set of values according to which jobs are hierarchically arrayed. Because job evaluation schemes are used in a large, possibly increasing, number of firms, it is important that researchers investigate the belief systems underly- ing existing job evaluation plans: Is there general societal consensus regarding which attributes of jobs ought to be compensated and regarding the relative importance of various attributes? If not, do workers and management value attributes of jobs differently? Do men and women value attributes of jobs differently? What belief systems underlie the various job evaluation systems cur- rently in use in U.S. firms? How are these beliefs reflected in the compensa- ble factors and weighting scheme of current systems? CONCLUSION Comparable worth claims and strategies for adjusting wages based on such claims need to be understood as part of the larger process of wage determination and as one of several means of wage adjustments. In this context we need to know much more about how wages are actually deter- mined within fimns; about how people's attitudes and beliefs influence wages; about how workers' behavior theirjob choices, theirinvestment in traininginfluence their labor market outcomes; and so on. With regard to wage adjustment strategies relevant to comparable worth claims, job evalua-

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 31 tion plans are clearly an important element, and a considerable portion ofthe discussion at Me seminar was devoted to research designed to improve job evaluation plans. Equally important, however, are the conditions that lead to the successful implementation of job evaluation plans or other methods of achieving pay equity and the economic consequences of implementing com- parable worth policies relative to those of other equal employment opportu- nit:y policies. Some of the research that we suggest represents continuation and exten- sion of already-established research areas (such as research on discnmina- tion, job choice, and work careers), and some represents new departures (the role of cultural beliefs in wage setting) or new directions (job evaluation methodology, consensus building in the workplace). The accomplishment of this research would have substantial results not only for achieving a better understanding of comparable worth, pay equity, and equal employment opportunity issues, but also for improving our understanding of work and workplaces, wage setting, gender inequality, and social change more gener- ally. REFERENCES Belter, Andrea H., and Kee-ok Kim Han 1984 Occupationalsex segregation: Prospects for the 1980s. Pp. 91-114inBarbaraF. Reskin, ea., Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies. Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washington, D.C.: National Acad- emy Press. Bielby, William T., and James N. Baron 1984a Men and Women at Work: Gender Segregation Within and Across Organizations. Unpublished paper, University of California, Santa Barbara. 1984b A woman's place is with other women: Sex segregation within organizations. Pp. 27-55 in Barbara F. Reskin, ea., Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies. Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washing- ton, D.C.: National Academy Press. Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. 1984 Pay Equity and Comparable Worth. A BNA Special repon. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Affairs. Cain, Pamela Stone 1985 The role of the social sciences in the comparable worth movement. Forthcoming in R. Lance Shotland and Melvin M. Mark, eds., Social Science and Social Policy. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications. Collett, Merrill J. 1983 Comparable worth: An overview. Public Personnel Management. Special IssueCom- parable Worth. 12(Winter):325-33 1. Colt, Nancy 1977 The Bands of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" in New England, 1970-1835. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

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32 HARTMANN, ROOS, AND TREIMAN Eisenstein, Sarah 1983 Give Us Bread, But Give Us Roses: Working Women's Consciousness in the United States, 1890 to the First World War. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Evans, Mariah D., and Edward O. Laumann 1983 Professionalcommitment: Myth or reality? Pp.3-40 in Donald J. Treiman and Robert V. Robinson, eds., Research in Social Stratification and Mobility: A Research Annual. Vol. 2. Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press. Gregory, Robert G., and Ronald C. Duncan 1981 The relevance of segmented labor market theories: The Australian experience of the achievement of equal pay for women. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 3(Spring):403-428. Hartmann, Heidi I. 1984 Pay Equity for women: Wage Discrimination and the Comparable Worth Controversy. Paper presented at the Conference on the Moral Foundations of Civil Rights Policy, University of Maryland, College Park, Md., October 18-20. Hartmann, Heidi I., and Donald J. Treiman 1984 Notes on the NAS study of equal pay for jobs of equal value. Ch. 63 in Milton R. Rock, ea., Handbook of Wage and Salary Administration. New York: McGraw-Hill. Jasso, Guillermina, and Peter H. Rossi 1977 Distributive justice and earned income. American Sociological Review 42 :639-651. Kessler-Harris, Alice 1982 Out to Work. New York: Oxford University Press. Manni, Margaret, and Mary C. Brinton 1984 Sex-typing in occupational socialization. Pp. 192-232 in Barbara F. Reskin, ea., Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies. Committee on Wom- en's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. May, Martha 1982 The historical problem of the family wage: The Ford Motor Company and the five dollar day. Feminist Studies 8(Summer):399-424. Melosh, Barbara 1982 The Physician 's Hand. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. National Committee on Pay Equity, Comparable Worth Project, and the National Women's Political Caucus National Committee on Pay Equity, Comparable Worth Project. and National Women's Political Caucus 1984 Who 's Workingfor Working Women: A Survey ofState and Local GovernmentPay Equity Activities and Initiatives. Washington, D.C.: Comparable Worth Project, National Committee on Pay Equity, and National Women's Political Caucus. Norton, Eleanor Holmes 1979 Speech to Conference on Pay Equity. Daily Labor Reporter (BNA), No. 211, October 30. Ratner, Ronnie Steinberg 1980 Research: Wage discrimination and pay equity. In Nancy D. Perlman and Bruce J. Ennis, eds., Preliminary Memorandum on Pay Equity: Achieving Equal Payfor Work of Comparable Value. Prepared for the Center for Women in Government. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York. Reichenberg, Neil E. 1983 Comparable worth: Recent developments. Public Personnel Management. Special IssueComparable Worth. 12(Winter):323-324.

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AN AGENDA FOR BASIC RESEARCH ON COMPARABLE WORTH 33 Remick, Helen 1984 Dilemmas of implementation: The case of nursing. Pp. 90-98 in Helen Remick, ea., Comparable Worth and Wage Discrimination: Technical Possibilities and Political Realities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Remick, Helen, and Ronnie J. Steinberg 1984 Technical possibilities and political realities: Concluding remarks. Pp. 285-302 in Helen Remick, ea., Comparable Worth and Wage Discrimination: Technical Possibili- ties and Political Realities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Reskin, Barbara F., and Heidi I. Hartmann, eds. 1985 Women's Work, Men's Work: Sex Segregation on the Job. Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Roos, Patricia A. 1983 Marriage and women's occupational attainment in cross-cultural perspective. American Sociological Review 48: 852-864. Roos, Patricia A., and Barbara F. Reskin 1984 Institutional factors contributing to sex segregation in the workplace. Pp. 235-260 in Barbara F. Resl;in, ea., Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Reme- dies. Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Treiman, Donald J. 1977 1979 Occupational Prestige in Comparative Perspective. New York: Academic Press. Job Evaluation: An Analytic Review. Interim Report. Committee on Occupational Clas- sification and Analysis. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences. 1984a Effect of choice of factors and factor weights job evaluation. Pp. 79-89 in Helen Remick, ea., Comparable Worth and Wage Discrimination: Technical Possibilities and Political Realities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1984b The work histories of women and men: What we know and what we need to find out. Pp. 213-231 in Alice S. Rossi, ea., Gender and the Life Course. New York: Aldine. Treiman, Donald J., and Heidi I. Hartmann, eds. 1981 Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Payfor Jobs of Equal Value. Final report. Committee on Occupational Classification and Analysis. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

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