PubPol 474

PubPol 474.001: Values & Ethics: Equality at Work

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Fall 2023
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More than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, significant gender and ethno-racial inequality in the labor market remains. Why? This course relies on a multidisciplinary literature from sociology, economics, psychology, moral philosophy, and socio-legal studies to examine ethno-racial and gender inequality in the labor market. We will first review and evaluate major explanations of inequality in the labor market, including employer discrimination, human capital differences, sexual harassment, occupational sex segregation, mass incarceration, inflexible workplaces, and segregated social networks. Then, we will discuss public policies and organizational efforts that seek to directly or indirectly ameliorate ethno-racial and/or gender inequality, such as paid family leave, "ban the box," unconscious bias and sexual harassment trainings, and increases to the minimum wage. We will discuss the motivation for these remedies, their effectiveness, and the ethical questions they raise.