Bias binding

September 5, 1997

Soviet rhetoric about female equality concealed wage discrimination comparable to western capitalist economies, according to research by Katarina Katz of the University of Gotenberg, Sweden. Her study of wages in the industrial city of Taganrog, published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, found that women earned around one third less than men.

Professor Katz wrote: "Formally the Soviet wage system was based on productivity. Yet there appears to be a systematic undervaluation of work considered to be 'feminine'. Despite the range of factors, we are still left with the answer that Soviet women were paid less because they were women. A bias is built into perceptions of productivity."

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