Tuesday, July 26, 2011


H/T: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/06/free-market-harassment.html
Link to article: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1743691&http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1743691##

Short of the article: Women get paid higher wages in jobs with higher levels of sexual harassment directed at women.

The surprising piece of information to me is that men demand higher wages still to put up with sexual harassment directed at men.

Hansen's point revolves around the idea that this wage premium makes sexual harassment in some sense okay, a proposition I agree with; wage premiums for sexual harassment are a natural extension of my belief in the legalization of prostitution.  Nobody who thinks prostitution should be legalized should be opposed to this.  (I would like the facts of which companies and occupations which have high levels of sexual harassment to be public knowledge, to optimize this relationship, and ensure that men and women negotiate for fair compensation in advance.)

My point is going to be directed at the fact that men demand higher premiums - this fact flies in the face of my expectations.

There are a few different possible explanations; one could be that averseness to sexual harassment is more extreme in women than in men (that is, more women than men who do not want sexual harassment are not willing to put up with it for any price premium, or put the price premium out of the market).  Another could be that the study itself is flawed, something I never discount.

One possibility I cannot exclude, however, is that men are simply more averse to sexual harassment, and are more likely to leave such a job, or to demand higher wages to put up with it.  Rephrased conversely, in a way that matches my expectations more closely - women are more likely to put up with such a job without posing any additional demands.

I insistently believe that the solution to many of the problems women deal with is not to raise boys more like girls, but to raise girls more like boys.

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