Moral reasoning about gender pay gaps

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In this paper, I practice using a pluralist approach to moral economy. Firstly, I summarise the main schools of thought about gender pay gaps. These include the marginal productivity theories, the human capital school, compensating differentials, institutionalist, feminist and Marxist viewpoints. I place my own work in a sustainable old-institutionalist school. I describe the normative and ontic assumptions of the various schools of thought. Secondly, a plurality of six complex moral reasoning strategies emerges from this review. The six moral reasoning strategies are the neoliberal growth strategy, human capabilities approach, redistribution approach, transformative approach, social equality approach and a Pareto-optimality approach. The study of these six strategies led toward the conclusion that we need more research on complex moral reasoning strategies. Scientific research can provide evidence to help people shape the moral reasoning that takes place in real-world dialogues and debates about this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-156
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Green Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2010


  • Gender pay gaps
  • Moral economy
  • Unequal pay


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