There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our ... Full Story »

Posted by Kelly Garrett - via Fair Spin (Right), Wall Street Journal (Most Emailed), Memeorandum, Wall Street Journal (Opinion), AllTop

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Review

Kelly Garrett
3.5
by Kelly Garrett - Apr. 13, 2011

The author of this opinion piece makes the controversial claim that men and women are on equal footing in the job market. Her argument has two parts. First, the recession has hit men harder than women because female-dominated industries have been more insulated from its effects. Second, men and women earn equal pay for equal work. That is, the fact that women earn less than men on average is a consequence of their working fewer hours and choosing less difficult, more rewarding work--not because of discrimination. The latter claim appears to be a misinterpretation of the study cited, though. This is an opinion piece, so it should come as no surprise that the evidence is carefully selected to make the point, and counterarguments are treated only superficially. Nevertheless, this is a clear articulation of a unique argument. The fact that it is the second most-read story on the WSJ as I right suggests that it's also generating some buzz.

This argument really turns on the claim that women make more than men "when relevant factors are taken into account". There are many studies suggesting that this is not the case, and focusing on a single analysis of census data published by a research firm (and thus not peer-reviewed) is deceptive. Furthermore, an interview with the author of that study suggests that the results are misrepresented here: "When we talk about young women out-earning men, we are talking about averages. "It does not mean that a woman holding the same job and the same degree out-earns men," he said." -excerpted from "Have young women reversed the pay gap?"

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