LAW & ECONOMICS: COMPETITION POLICY - GENDER EQUALITY - MARKET PARTICIPATION - EFFICIENCY

Competition policy and gender

This paper calls attention to the opportunity for competition authorities to contribute to the fight for gender equality. We also argue that adopting a gender lens can be helpful in achieving the efficiency-based objectives of competition authorities. We conclude by providing a menu of options regarding how competition authorities may integrate a gender perspective into competition policy practice.

I. Introduction 1. Compared to men, women exhibit lower labour force participation rates, earn lower wages per hour and are twice as likely to work in the informal sector (OECD, 2018 and ILO, 2017). Recent estimates suggest that these disparities result in an aggregate loss of 16% of global income and on an individual level result in women losing USD 24,000 over the course of their lifetime (Wodon and de la Brière, 2018). As a result, women have less purchasing power in the marketplace, and this is aggravated by the fact that they often pay higher prices for products structured around gender identity, a phenomenon known as the “pink tax” (De Blasio and Men in 2015). 2. Recently, the competition policy community has started paying attention to gender. Hubbard (2017) argues that the

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Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, Chris Pike, Competition policy and gender, November 2019, Concurrences Review N° 4-2019, Art. N° 92109, www.concurrences.com

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