One of our inquisitive listeners, Isabella, noticed when she was shopping online that women’s clothing was more expensive than men’s clothing — and she thought that was unfair. Turns out, it happens a lot.
The same or really similar items, from school supplies to sports equipment, often cost more when they’re designed to look like they were made for girls. People have taken to calling this phenomenon the “pink tax.”
This week, we’ll learn more about why it happens and what’s being done about it. We’ll also ask some random kids a not-so-random question, and Bridget will introduce us to her new smart speaker — which has oddly great taste in music.
And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids
Take a minute to recap the episode and review the key points. Here are some questions to get the kids going:
- What is the name of Bridget’s smart speaker?
- What is a pink tax and why is it called that?
- What is it called when different people get charged different prices for the same thing?
- What’s the name of the song Sidekick played about the pink tax? Can you sing it?
(Scroll to the bottom or click here for the answers!)
Our friend Isabella spotted a pattern and asked about it. Like her, some researchers and lawmakers have also been looking into why toys and clothes and haircuts for girls often cost more than the same things for boys. Gathering proof and data led the state of New York to pass rules against the pink tax, and it got some companies to change their pricing. Research: It’s “the secret weapon against tyranny!” as Jed put it.
Here are a few good sources:
- “The Pink Tax: How Gender-Based Pricing Hurts Women’s Buying Power” from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
- “The Pink Tax: How Women Pay More for Pink” from Bankrate
- “Why Do Women’s Products & Services Cost More?” from Psychology Today
- And an interesting piece about a different kind of price discrimination: “How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All” from The Atlantic
If the kids are asking more broadly about economic fairness, here are a few resources on how to have those conversations:
- “How to Talk About Fairness With Your Kids” from U.S. News & World Report
- “Talking with Kids About Fairness” from Psychology Today
Finally, might we suggest checking out Marketplace’s full slate of smart speaker content? Try saying “Alexa, make me smart” to any Echo device.
Tell us a story! Do you have a money story you want to share with Jed and Bridget? Click here to tell us about it.
Money talks answers
- Answers will vary, but along the lines of: It’s the extra money charged for things that are specifically designed for girls and women, even when they’re often the same or very similar to those that are designed for boys and men. It’s called pink tax because a lot of things designed for girls and women are pink.
- Price discrimination
- “Attacking Pink Taxes With My Pink Axes”
(Click here to return to the questions!)
The future of this podcast starts with you.
It’s official: kids love “Million Bazillion®!” From fun, creative lessons about trade to silly skits about the foundation of our economy, co-hosts Jed Kim and Bridget Bodnar, and the rest of the team are committed to making kids and their families smarter about all things money.
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This show is made possible in part by The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance, supporting Marketplace’s work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy. Next Gen Personal Finance is a non-profit that believes all students benefit from having a financial education before they cross the stage at high school graduation.
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