Class Year




Document Type


Distinguished Thesis


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Economics, Business, and Finance

First Advisor

Robert J. Lemke

Second Advisor

Amanda J. Felkey

Third Advisor

Susan M. Long

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Benacka

Fifth Advisor

Patricia Thomas


The “Pink Tax” broadly refers to firm pricing strategies and/or government policies that raise transactional costs (usually higher taxes or higher prices) for women. Conversations about the Pink Tax have been steadily growing over the past several decades; people have conflicting views on its existence, causes, and implications, to the point that there are substantive questions regarding its validity. More research is needed to determine where exactly the Pink Tax comes from and what are its true effects. For those who argue that the Pink Tax exists and is detrimental to females, a leading explanation for the transmission mechanism is through the propagation of gender socialization trough marketing strategies. Due to the lack of government data that allow for direct measurement of the Pink Tax, this study provides an analysis of consumers’ exposure to marketing. Specifically, this study correlates gender, age, race, marital status, and marijuana use (to proxy for preferences for certain types of behavior) with marketing exposure, to offer support for the claim that the Pink Tax benefits from this transmission mechanism. The findings demonstrate there is a strong inverse relationship between education and marketing exposure, measured by hours spent watching television in a week as a teenager.