Gender-Based Price Discrimination in Germany

For anyone doing comparative anti-discrimination work, a fact sheet (here) prepared by Iris an der Heiden and Maria Wersig and published by the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agencyprovides insight into gender-based price discrimination. Here is a summary:

The survey systematically examines the gender-based differentiation of prices (gender pricing) in case of the same or very similar products and services in Germany. Moreover, on the basis of empirical findings on gender pricing a legal evaluation with regard to the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG) is conducted. The survey is based on empirical research into the product and services category of the basket of goods and services of the Federal Statistical Office.

Some of the most salient conclusions are:

Of the 1,682 products which could be identified as similar in the survey only 3.7 per cent had different prices. In 2.3 per cent of those cases women pay higher prices for the female variant of the same product, in 1.4 per cent of those cases men pay higher prices for the male product variant. The average surcharge for women and men amounts to approximately 5.00 .

The more obvious gender-based price differences refer to services offered by dry cleaners and hairdressers: 89 per cent of the hairdressers offer different rates for the same short haircuts for women and men, whereas women pay an average surplus amount of 12.50 . One third of the dry cleaners have different flat rates for men’s shirts and women’s blouses. The price difference in this case, too, is borne by women, who on average have to pay 1.80 more for the dry cleaning of blouses than men for shirts.

Read the full piece here.

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