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Women's Wages

William Smart

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .irst answer given is that women's wages are low because of the equation of supply and demand. Only certain branches of industry are open to women. In these there is a great number of women competing for employment. They are free to take work or refuse it. But over the industrial community there are found enough women willing to take the low wage which[Pg 8] employers find they can offer, and free competition determines the level. If two women run after one employer, wages will fall; if two employers run after one woman, wages will rise.

Those who think this answer an easy and satisfactory one must be unaware of the unsettling of many problems since Mill's day. Mill had no less than three laws of value—that of the Equation of Supply and Demand, that of Cost of Production, and that of Differential Cost of Production. The former law, he said, applied to goods of which the quantity was naturally, or artificially, or temporarily, limited, and it was, besides, th. . . Read More