The Political Economy of Comparable Worth: The Iowa Case 1983-1987

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Date
1988-06-01
Authors
Mattila, J. Peter
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

Comparable worth pay plans have been inplemented in several states since the early 1980's. We examine the case of comparable worth in Iowa, as proposed in 1984 and as actually implemented (in compromise form) in 1985 and as adjusted as a result of the appeals process in 1987, In particular, we identify the relative winners and losers from comparable worth by analyzing the impact on earnings for males, females, minorities, unionized ^ployees and particular occupational groups such as supervisors and professionals. In addition, we are able to determine whether the relationships between the State pay structure and variables such as market wages, educational attainment, and work experience are altered by the plans.

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