Slate's Hanna Rosin on the "Gender Wage Gap Lie"
By David Henderson
I went K-12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either.
In short, Ms. Benedikt admits that she didn’t learn much. And in her piece, she illustrates that fact beautifully.
The redeeming piece is by Hanna Rosin. It’s titled “The Gender Wage Gap Lie.” The whole piece, which is short, is worth reading. Here’s one highlight:
But we’re still not close to measuring women “doing the same work as men.” For that, we’d have to adjust for many other factors that go into determining salary. Economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn did that in a recent paper, “The Gender Pay Gap.”.”They first accounted for education and experience. That didn’t shift the gap very much, because women generally have at least as much and usually more education than men, and since the 1980s they have been gaining the experience. The fact that men are more likely to be in unions and have their salaries protected accounts for about 4 percent of the gap. The big differences are in occupation and industry. Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”
And one criticism. The second last sentence is wrong, as, from context, it is clear that Ms. Rosin understands. The gap doesn’t narrow to 91 percent. The gap narrows to 9 percent.
Notice, by the way, that she quotes from work by Harvard’s Claudia Goldin. Professor Goldin wrote the Concise Encyclopedia’s article “Gender Gap.”