Economics of Diversity
Unlevel Playing Fields
The Basics of Neoclassical Economics
According to Albelda (2013), most economists share common ideas that are referred to as the neoclassical approach. This book chapter provides a broad outlook at the neoclassical approach, its fundamental concepts, how the model operates, government policies implications and the reason why markets exist. Generally, when political economists think about the market, for instance, what comes into their minds is production. However, neoclassical approach to the economy is different since they focus on the exchange of goods and services. The first neoclassical approach about the market emphasizes the significance of competition in the market. Competition in the economic context does not focus on winners or losers rather a strategy that prevents individuals from exercising control over the market. As a way of understanding how market and competition phenomena operate, the mode in which individuals make decisions is key. According to Albelda (2013), rational individuals encounter the problem of scarcity and respond to it through weighing the costs and benefits of alternate actions, that is, they evaluate the opportunity cost of actions. Therefore, by making decisions based on opportunity costs and preferences, people make the most of their utility. According to Albelda (2013), competitive markets leads towards equilibrium, a situation where anyone willing and is able to buy can go ahead and do so at the existing price. Therefore, equilibrium is important in the market as no one is positioned at a better place at the expense of others. According to neoclassical economists, governments should implement free government policies that will ensure markets work efficiently to benefit all participants. Nonetheless, there are imperfections in the market that might lead to income inequality even where competition rules. In this regard, other neoclassical economists believe that there needs to be government role or intervention.
In the chapter, one of the discussion questions is that what market for a good or service best fits the idea of competition and why? What substitute goods or services are there in the market? A competitive market encompasses many buyers and sellers with different substitute goods and services. Despite the fact that it is not clearly seen in practice, competitive markets prices are dictated by the market itself and not the buyers and sellers. The consumers would strive to reduce the prices of the goods while the producers rising but the competition stops them. In a competitive market, consumers looking for lower-priced or discounted goods will not find them, while producers charging higher prices will not be able to sell their products. Therefore, competitive markets are effective since the substitute goods are available and help maintain the market equilibrium.
Economics of Gender by Jacobsen
What Are the Issues in the Economics of Gender?
The book Economics of Gender by Jacobsen provides an inclusive, balanced, and informed introduction to the new work on the disparities between women’s and men’s economic opportunities, activities, and rewards. Despite the fact that Jacobsen’s key emphasis is on current US models, she dedicates the book to cross-societal assessments. The author also analyzes the development of present-day patterns over time and the impact on them of race, ethnicity, and class. In the chapter, she discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several policies, for instance, the comparable worth and welfare programs.
Generally, gender inequality has infiltrated the world. In view of the scopes of economic gender inequity, women are still below in the formal employment sector, are more likely to depend on men and are less likely to take part in the formal work sector. According to Jacobsen, (2007), the differences that exist between men and women can be categorized into biological, that is, sex-related on one side and all other aspects on the other side, for instance, psychological, social and cultural differences. Sex entails either being male or female while gender is feminine or masculine. The book provides that nations with high income have a high gender equality levels. Most of the areas that are experiencing gender inequality are in the political empowerment and economic participation. Generally, it is apparent that gender equality increases human capital hence enhancing the total welfare of the society. Therefore, many societies would routinely tend to settle on the gender equality economic growth because the human capital provides the same input in development. In the end, this positively empowers the economic growth of a nation. This chapter remains a treasured complement to courses in labor economics, economic policy, and women’s studies across the globe.
The main question in the chapter is the importance of gender equality in the society. Whereas many of the costs of gender disparity are ultimately born by certain individuals, their consequences are also felt at the society and even global level. If persons of different genders are not given equal opportunities to progress their potential, then societies miss the bigger level of productivity and eventually wellbeing that they would derive from their increased output. Moreover, if the societies do not equally invest in empowering and providing equal opportunities for women through gender equality, then the societies do not make good use of the full potential of their members.
Albelda, R. P., & Drago, R. W. (2013). Unlevel playing fields: Understanding wage inequality and discrimination. Boston, Mass: Economic Affairs Bureau.
Jacobsen, J. P. (2007). The economics of gender. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
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