I'm not amused by the repeated misuse of "equality" to justify equal prize money for tennis tournaments. Such equality should presumably also apply to
- soccer, etc.
You get the point. It is a fool's errand to use "equality" in such a way. Equality under the law is NOT the same as a "right" to equal prize money. This is a stupid, socialist argument.
So, how else should we address this issue: whether men and women should get the same prize money?
In two words: marginal product. If 60 per cent of the revenues are raised from spectators who want to watch "hot" players, then women should get 60 per cent of the total prize money, not just "equal". They should get MORE than men.
How to operationalise this:
Every match has
- a certain number of direct spectators; and
- TV spectators.
It should be quite feasible in this day and age to specifically count these spectators, and add up the revenues raised from them. These revenues reflect the MARKET's interest in a particular match.
Any economist worth his salt should thereafter be able to use this detailed data to create a formula (e.g. allocation of greater share to a higher ranked/ "hotter" player) that PRECISELY allocates prize money between men and women.
This allocation would be known only at the end of a tournament, and would therefore vary each year. Assuming that a very "hot" woman wins the finals in a particular year and draws huge crowds and TV ratings, women in general, and this woman in particular would get a disproportionate share of prize money.
All other arguments – e.g. men tend to play longer matches or show more skill are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT. Using such arguments would amount to using the Marxian labour theory of value – long trashed, and never used in the private sector (where merit is directly rewarded to the extent of the value it provides).
It is NOT skill but what people pay for, and thus (exchange) value, that matters. Let's not use bogus and spurious arguments ("equality"/ "skill"). Let's get over our fascination with socialism. It always gives the wrong answer.
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