Corresponding Author

John A. Hunnes


The Catholic Social Teaching is a rich and relevant source for studying contemporary problems in society. In this paper, I investigate the question about equal pay in light of the social teaching. During the last decade, there has been an increasing interest in equal pay and related concepts like universal basic income. By equal pay we mean that everyone in society receives the same remuneration regardless of the type of work, level of effort, or unemployed or not. From an economic point of view, there are large negative incentive effects with such an arrangement. The reason is that the principle of ‘equal pay for all’ breaks the relationship between the workers’ effort and the payment associated with the effort. Furthermore, neo-classical economics would argue that there is no incentive to work if there is no financial payoff compared to not working. Also from a Catholic social teaching viewpoint, there is no support for an ‘equal pay for all’ arrangement. However, the social teaching sheds important light on the meaning of work and the right to a living wage.