PINK TAX : The Gender Biased Market

Authored by Tushar Ranjan, 5th year law student from Amity University Rajasthan

Introduction

The Pink Tax Goods that fit the parameters of the pink tax all share one commonality: they’re being directly branded and targeted to suit the supposed needs of these identifying with the feminine gender. Often, such goods are categorized with pink packaging or detail on the merchandise itself. Whether this is often from product design or branding, the colour pink is pivotal within the marketing techniques of massive companies. as compared, identical men’s products of another color, tend to be of an equivalent, or maybe better, quality and price less. this is often vital, as many ladies simply accept the very fact that these things are pricier and still purchase them hook line and sinker why. In fact, products like “BIC For Her” pens are discriminatory and are like the posh tax on necessary women’s hygiene products, like tampons. The pink tax, however, expands beyond goods and enters the realm of services, because it can also be costlier for female dry-cleaning fees, oil changes, etc. In fact, consistent with NYC.gov, as described by Zelniker, “Young girls’ clothes cost 4% quite boys’ clothing. Women pay 7% quite men for accessories like tote bags and watches, 8% more for clothing and 13% more for private care like deodorant” (2018). These differences can’t be justified. Companies are simply extracting more resources from women while creating these products during a way that’s not significantly different than the assembly process of comparable men’s items (Zelniker, 2018).

Possible Explanations for the Pink Tax

  • Tariffs

The tariffs on some imported goods vary counting on whether the merchandise is formed for men or women. on the average, clothing imports for ladies are taxed at a better rate than clothing imports for men — 15.1% compared to 11.9%. it’s going to be passed on to consumers and contribute to the markup on some goods targeted to women[1].

  • Product differentiated

Sellers frequently distinguish a product or service from others to form it more attractive to a specific target market, for instance, by changing the packaging and altering the colour of a product. However, doing so may increase the value of production. for instance, a manufacturer may prefer to produce a smaller number of pink razors, which could increase the value of manufacturing each pink razor relative to the larger run of black razors.

  • Price discrimination. 

This is that the practice of charging different customers different prices for an equivalent product or service. Sellers attract buyers who would otherwise not purchase their product by offering those buyers a lower cost. But it also can mean higher prices for others[2]. A typical example is that the discounts for advanced purchases of airline tickets and better prices for last-minute purchases. If sellers find that ladies are less price-sensitive and, therefore, willing to pay more for a specific product or service, they’re more likely to charge a better price for a version marketed to women.

  • Price fixing

Some markets might not be fully competitive, and competitors who would drive down inexplicably high prices for women’s versions of products and services could also be prevented from entering the market. As a result, firms holding a big share of market power would be ready to continue charging more for goods and services targeting women. this might indicate that there’s a requirement for state intervention because the federal takes a lively role in maintaining competitive markets.

Despite Challenges, Women’s Earning Power is bigger than Ever

Women’s participation within the paid workforce has increased dramatically since the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act were enacted quite 50 years ago. At that point, fewer than half prime age women (ages 25 to 54) were within the labor pool, and just one in three jobs was held by a lady. Today, nearly three-quarters of all prime-age women are within the workforce and ladies hold about half all jobs.

This explosion in earning power, including rising household expenses, has meant that families have come to depend upon women’s incomes to form ends meet. within the typical (median) household with a mother working outside the house, women contribute nearly 40 percent of their family’s total earnings.6 Almost 40 percent of married women are their family’s primary earner and one in three (34 percent) families with a mother working outside the house depend solely on the mother’s wages.[3]

Price Discrimination Against Women Extends Beyond the Pink Tax

Gender-based pricing that disadvantages women extends beyond the pink tax. Women have historically paid higher insurance premiums partially due to the expected costs associated with pregnancy. The Affordable Care Act specifically eliminated the disparity in insurance premiums between women and men. for instance, before the law’s enactment, a 22- year-old woman might pay 1.5 times the premium for insurance paid by a person an equivalent age.26 Research within the early 1990s found that ladies were quoted higher prices than men when buying a replacement car.However, newer studies suggest this phenomenon could also be less prevalent now. And despite action by several cities and states to exempt feminine hygiene products from nuisance tax, most girls are taxed on purchases of those items which are a necessity for ladies and haven’t any comparable male equivalent. Currently, women in most states must pay state nuisance tax on purchases of sanitary products. Of states with a state nuisance tax, only Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, ny and Pennsylvania don’t impose a nuisance tax on feminine hygiene products.The tax is especially burdensome for ladies with low earnings because it eats up a bigger share of their incomes.[4]

Conclusion

Recent actions only begin to remedy the economic burden being borne by U.S. women within the marketplace. Gender-based price disparities clearly cost women and their families real money that they can’t afford to lose. However, further investigation is required to know better the factors that contribute to gender-based price disparities throughout the economy and the way they impact women. With more information, policymakers can take action to completely reap the advantages of women’s economic power as both breadwinners and consumers.


[1]Lori L. Taylor and Jawad Dar, “Fairer Trade: Removing Gender Bias in US Import Taxes,” The Takeaway: Policy Briefs from the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, (March 2015).

[2] U.S. Department of Justice, “Antitrust Enforcement and the Consumer,” (accessed December

[3] Sarah Larimer, “The ‘tampon tax’ explained,” The Washington Post, (January 8).

[4]This possibility is discussed in http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/fashion/For-Women-Hairstyles-at-theBarbershop

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