May 30, 2018

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER:

The Wage Gap Between Men and Woman Virtually Disappears When Differences in Behavior Are Taken into Account (Matt Knight  , 5/22/18, FEE)

[W]e're trying to discover just how much influence sexist discrimination has on women's earnings relative to men's, we've controlled for full-time status, and now we're saying that--ceteris paribus--sexism alone accounts for a gap of 21 to 23 percent between men and women?

Shouldn't we try to compare women and men who studied the same things in college and selected careers in the same fields?

Come on.

Granted, controlling for full-time status is important, but surely we can do better than one measly factor. I mean, there are a ton of other things that play into comparing the earnings of men and women, right?

For example, shouldn't we try to compare women and men who studied the same things in college and selected careers in the same fields? Seems relatively important--and when we do that, the American Association of University Women finds that women actually make 93 percent of their male coworkers.

What about comparing work experience? Lengthy career interruptions? And, heck, what about overtime? Controlling for those things, a report prepared for the US Department of Labor found that women actually make 95 percent as much as their male coworkers.

I'd say a rise in women's pay from 77 percent to 95 percent is quite an improvement, wouldn't you agree?

But wait, there's more!

Starting a family makes up a large (and growing) proportion of the total wage gap, and women tend to accept "family-friendly fringe benefits" (flexible hours, child-care, and parental leave, for example) in lieu of higher wages. When we account for these kinds of non-wage compensation, the gap in total compensation falls to 3.6 percent.

Neat, right?

Posted by at May 30, 2018 4:55 AM

  

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