The NYC (New York City) Department of Consumer Affairs DCA just recently published a study 1 of prices in twenty-four New York City stores for 794 products. It found that female products cost an average of 7% more than equivalent men versions. Such differences were widespread; in 30 of 35 product categories, female products had higher prices. The report ominously determined that …ladies are paying thousands of dollars more beyond the course of their lives to purchase similar products as men. Not good.
But the part that interested me most was this statement through the report’s conclusion:
Although there could be legitimate drivers behind some portion of the price differences unearthed in this research, these higher prices are mainly inevitable for ladies.
The conclusion isn’t new. Into the past, gendered pricing happens to be examined, among others, by Consumer Reports, therefore the State of California. Both revealed evidence for a gender surcharge or a pink tax . It is clear that women shoppers pay a significant price to be ladies.
In this article, I want to explore two problems about gendered pricing much more depth:
(1) What are the trustworthy drivers behind gendered price discrepancies, and
(2) Are high prices truly necessary, or could women do something about this?
Many Women Products Cost More to Produce and selling
While it is incontrovertible that ladies pay more than men for a lot of things, in some cases there are actually valid reasons. Take the truth of washing clothes. In dry cleaners across the United States, it’s quite common for a woman’s blouse or shirt to cost 40%, 60%, or even 100% much more to wash than a man’s shirt. To add insult to injury, many dry cleaners easily refuse to launder women’s shirts. They can simply be dry cleaned, an even more expensive proposal. Why?
These variations are not because American dry cleaners are misogynists or bigots. Or do they have a collective impulse to take advantage of women. The real explanation is a lot more commonplace. The price difference is actually entirely according to labor costs tangled up in laundering men vs. female garment All guys’ shirts have an identical shape and tend to be made from cotton, polyester, or a blend. Neither the shirts shape nor their products have changed for decades. The pirate, puffy shirt from Seinfeld never managed to make it to your large market 9. The dry-cleaning industry has developed commercial pressing machines to automotive the final process for guy’s shirts. They might require little human labor and can iron dozens of shirts for every hour.
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