Tag: Discrimination

Review: Hidden Figures Exposes Social Cost of Prejudice »

Economists have long argued that prejudice exacts penalties and costs on people who discriminate. A powerful example of this effect is found front and center in the justifiably acclaimed movie Hidden Figures. The film depicts the struggles and eventual triumph of women serving as “computers” for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) in...
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Sexism and Zombie Economics »

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine linked to an article on Facebook titled, “Sexism in Hollywood is Rampant, and Emma Watson Says her Career Proves It.” The article was published in late 2015, but similar pieces pop up from time to time with similar themes. Despite my better judgment, I clicked on...
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Private Businesses Are Not “Public Accommodations” »

On Tuesday, April 5, Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed a bill passed by the state’s legislature shielding certain business owners, public employees and non-profit organizations from lawsuits charging them with unlawful discrimination for refusing to serve same-sex customers. Styled the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” the new law drew sharp...
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The 2016 “Handicapper General” »

In college, I read a short story titled “Harrison Bergeron.” The piece was written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., in 1961, and published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. That piece was eye-opening for me, and pushed me to think about the world, particularly government policies, in a different way. In the piece, Vonnegut...
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What Abercrombie and Fitch Can Teach Us about the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy »

When I was a young teenager, Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the “it” brands. Everyone in school wanted to wear it, and it was absolutely used to signal that one was up-to-date on recent trends. As the child of two schoolteachers, I learned very early in my life that paying $50 for a t-shirt I’d grow...
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Is Sexual Orientation a Choice? »

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio says, “I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with,” but goes on to say, “I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.” Let’s consider both of these ideas from a political perspective. First, whether people choose their sexual orientation or are born with it is...
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Employers Do Not Systematically and Persistently Pay Women Less than Men for Equally Valuable Work »

The quality of economic journalism in the United States is terrible. Day after day, journalists write about the causes and consequences of economic conditions and events without understanding the underlying economics of the situation, and their articles are, as a rule, simply bunk. Here is an example. I have not examined the actual report...
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The Gender Wage Gap—A Myth that Just Won’t Die »

This past year I was on the academic job market, applying for faculty positions at a variety of colleges and universities. As a woman making a critical career move, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in cover letters, resumes, statistics about cost of living, state income taxes, health insurance, and, of course, salary information....
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University Responsibility for Sexual Assault »

“The Hunting Ground,” a movie about sexual assault at major universities, supports the argument that universities are not doing enough to respond to accusations about sexual assault by their students. The article hits close to home for me because, as a faculty member at Florida State University, my university is one of the ones...
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Let Them Eat Cake »

In January of this year, a Denver bakery found itself at the center of a civil rights controversy. The crime? The bakery refused customer Bill Jack’s request to put an anti-gay message (“God Hates Gays”) on a cake. He reported that he felt as though the bakery discriminated against him based on his “creed.”...
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