Cornell University

Jake Rosenfeld - Talking About Pay: Who Does It, Why Employers Hate It, and What it Might Mean for Inequality

Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Klarman Hall, Klarman Auditorium (KG70 Klarman Hall)
232 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853

Jake Rosenfeld (Sociology, Washington University at St. Louis) will visit Cornell in April to present his talk, "Talking About Pay: Who Does It, Why Employers Hate It, and What it Might Mean for Inequality"

Why do some workers talk about pay with their colleagues? Why – and how – do so many employers try to stop it? And how might pay transparency affect inequality? In this talk Rosenfeld will explore what we know about the “salary taboo” – the general prescription against discussing pay with colleagues – and how it works at work. He will document the taboo’s prevalence, examine the factors leading to violations of it, and investigate the ways employers try to reinforce it. He will end by discussing what ongoing fights over pay transparency versus pay secrecy tell us about who gets what at work.

Jake Rosenfeld is a professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, and a resident fellow of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy. He is the author of What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press 2014) and You're Paid What You're Worth and Other Myths of the Modern Economy (Harvard University Press 2021). His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Dissent, Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review, among other outlets.

This talk is hosted by Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality, the Institute for Compensation Studies, and the Cornell Population Center. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology.

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John Niederbuhl

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