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If a business is located in an area with a large minority population and refuses to sell to minorities, it will cut into its own profits. If some businesses run by bigoted employers refuse to pay women and/or minorities a wage based on their productivity, then other profit-seeking employers can hire these workers. In a competitive market , if the owners of a business care more about the color of money than about the color of skin, they will have an incentive to make buying, selling, hiring, and promotion decisions strictly based on economic factors.

The power of markets to offer at least a degree of freedom to oppressed groups should not be underestimated. In many countries, cohesive minority groups like Jews and emigrant Chinese have managed to carve out a space for themselves through their economic activities, despite legal and social discrimination against them. Many immigrants, including those who come to the United States, have taken advantage of economic freedom to make new lives for themselves. However, history teaches that market forces alone are unlikely to eliminate discrimination. After all, discrimination against African Americans persisted in the market-oriented U.S. economy during the century between President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in 1863, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—and has continued since then, too.

So why does discrimination persist in competitive markets? Gary Becker sought to explain this persistence. Discriminatory impulses can emerge at a number of levels: among managers, among workers, and among customers. Consider the situation of a manager who is not personally prejudiced, but who has many workers or customers who are prejudiced. If that manager treats minority groups or women fairly, the manager may find it hurts the morale of prejudiced co-workers or drives away prejudiced customers. In such a situation, a policy of nondiscrimination could reduce the firm’s profits. After all, a business firm is part of society, and a firm that does not follow the societal norms is likely to suffer. Market forces alone are unlikely to overwhelm strong social attitudes about discrimination.

Visit this website to read more about wage discrimination.

Public policies to reduce discrimination

A first public policy step against discrimination in the labor market is to make it illegal. For example, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 said that men and women who do equal work at a company must be paid the same. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibited discrimination on the basis of age against individuals who are 40 years of age or older. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was aimed at prohibiting discrimination against women in the workplace who are planning to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are returning after pregnancy. Passing a law, however, is only part of the answer, since discrimination by prejudiced employers may be less important than broader social patterns.

Questions & Answers

The quantity of a good demanded rises from 1000 to 1500 units when the price fallsfrom$1. 50 to$1. 00 per unit. Find the price elasticity of demand?
Rishiraj Reply
what is meant by Regional policy
Itz Reply
what is demand
Tangwe Reply
nice question..
what is aggregate demand and the equation for Y(GDP)
Davido Reply
what is cost concept
Fatai Reply
is a type of mechanism which makes consumers and individuals understand the price of goods and services
who is the father of Economics
John Reply
i dont know
Adam Smith
Adam Smith
What is opportunity cost
is the value of the next best thing you give up when making a decision.
opportunity cost is a made in order to enjoy something else
what is cost concept
Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith
What is demand and supply
demand refers to goods and services which consumers are willing and able to buy at a particular period of time and supply refers to the goods and services which consumers are willing and able to offer for sale at a particular period of time
demand is the quantity of goods and services which a particular customer is willing and able to purchase at that point in time.while supply is a quantity of goods and services which the company is willing and able to render to the customer who purchased it at that point
Adam Smith
cost concept. it is used for analyzing the cost of a project in short and long run
opportunity cost can be seen as a forgone alternative. it can be seen as the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen
cost is value of imput and output at particular period of time. but we can classify in short run and long run.
Cost is the aggregated sum accrue in procuring something worthwhile.
what is the formula for elasticity
Umar Reply
perc of qty chg/perc of price chg
I need some help regarding economic numericals.
Send your problems
demand or supply equation dy hn OK iska schedule bnana above equation ko dekhty hue kasy bnaye gy
what is cobweb?
Solomon Reply
A spider's web, especially when old and dusty (The wooden carvings were almost obliterated by cobwebs)
what is Economic
Mbarohey Reply
Economic is a social science that study human behavior in relationship with end and scarce means which have alternative uses
Economics is an inquiry into nature that causes wealth of nations.
what are the importance of economic
it helps us use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants
economic is the science of wealth
it's helps us to be current on what's going on in the world
economics can be defined as the science of wealth
what are the advantages of sole proprietorship
is the study of mankind in the ordinary business
Economic is science which study human behavior in relation to relatively scarce resources and how they are managed
What is the formula for calculating elasticity?
Haruna Reply
(%change in quantity) / (%change in price)
government spending increase will cause economic grew
Jia Reply
no because government expenditure is very high the growth of the economy will decrease
what is trade by batter
Iko Reply
trade involves the transfer of good or services from one person to another, often in exchange for money.
Now trade by batter :it may define as form of trading in which good are exchange directly for other goods without the use of money as medium of exchange
is it good to trade with something with a value but given something which has no value
trade in batter means the exchange of goods and services without using money
It may be defined as an exchange of goods to satisfy the needs of two parties
is the exchange of goods and services for the consumption of human wants
mention six factors that explain efficiency and productivity of labour
fanelchainz Reply
mention six factors that explain efficiency and productivity of labour
factors that explain efficiency of labor are 1.population, 2.technology, 3.education, 4.working environment, 5.incentives (tax holidays) and 6.religious or cultural beliefs.
What is demand
SoFIA Reply
is the abulity and willingness of a consumer to purchase goods and services at a particular peeiod of time in a given price
Is goods or service that a consumer is willing and able to purchase at a particular time over a giving period of time
is the ability and the willingness to buy a goods at a particular period of time in a given price
what is a central bank
Fadhil Reply
transactionsss with all banks of any country

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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