Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Gender Wage Gap is a Myth

The myth is this:
(1) Women, when they do the same job or same type of work as men, get paid on average 77% less in their (i) hourly wages or (ii) weekly or yearly earnings (when they work the same amount of time), and (2) this hourly/weekly/annual wage gap is caused by a systemic, institutionalised, and misogynist wage discrimination against women in the West.
Christina Hoff Sommers discusses this below.

First, one must distinguish between (1) full-time, annual earnings of men and women in vastly different professions and (2) the hourly wage for the same type of work.

If you take aggregated, averaged data on full-time, annual earnings, there is indeed a gender pay gap, but to prove that men and women are paid significantly differently for the same work in their hourly wage, you need to look at disaggregated data of hourly wages of men and women, not an average of lifetime earnings.

That is, you need to look specifically at men and women doing the same type of work, and then see if their hourly wages are different. When this is done, certainly some inequality can be found (and that is a problem), but the scale of this inequality is grossly exaggerated and women are generally paid the same wage for the same type of work as men do (see here).

Clearly the belief that there is some massive institutionalised, misogynist discrimination against women in the Western world is a myth.

The main reasons for the gap in average female full-time, yearly earnings as against earnings of men are (1) the different professions and career paths that women choose, and (2) different life choices of men and women.

If the difference between the full-time, lifetime earnings of men and women is regarded as an issue to be solved (and not, as some people argue, simply the result of the different career paths and life choices of men and women), then paid maternity leave and the encouragement of women into higher-earning professions could mostly fix it.

But what if after such measures a gap remains and it is because women freely choice different careers? Is this really a problem?


  1. Analysis correct. Still, there are inequalities in manual jobs, I have observed. For example, cleaners. At my workplace, it is men who clean the inside of windows, lamps, and things which require using a short ladder. Women clean floors and dust. They belong to different job categories, probably with different salaries. The same can be said with gardening jobs, agricultural , factory jobs, etc. There are different jobs doing similar tasks for the two sexes.

  2. This is also a quite good video on the Austrian side of things

    Do Women Earn Less than Men? - Learn Liberty

  3. Behind the myth of the gap, there is the idea that labour market i) discriminates or ii) is manipulated externally to discriminate against women. Non sense both.

  4. What is needed is Job Guarantee at the living wage, and if politically possible looking after your own children should be a 'job.'

    The job of looking after a child is created the moment a child is born. We have the crazy situation at the moment where if you look after somebody else's child you're a valuable child minder that can receive government benefits (via tax credit subsidies to the mother for child care), whereas if you look after your own you're a scrounger. I'm not sure how that is to be resolved.

  5. Here's a good link that shows some very good facts.

    Key points to look at are #4, #7 and #8

    #4: Men working full-time work 15% or 6 hours on average more than women
    #7: Unmarried women who don't have children actually earn more than unmarried men.
    #8: Women business owners make half of what male business owners make, so it cannot possibly be from discrimination.

    Glad that you're finally getting to the third-wave Feminist nonsense that has infected every corner of the left-wing and mainstream media.