Monday, September 05, 2005

Men vs. Women at Work

A fascinating op-ed in today's NewYork Times describes in some detail the reasons for the so-called "wage gap" between men and women. The author, Warren Farrell, wrote the book Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap - and What Women Can Do About It. Here are some choice excerpts:

When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, I blamed discrimination for that gap. Then I asked myself, "If an employer has to pay a man one dollar for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?"
...
After years of research, I discovered 25 differences in the work-life choices of men and women. All 25 lead to men earning more money, but to women having better lives.
...
Is the pay gap, then, about the different choices of men and women? Not quite. It's about parents' choices. Women who have never been married and are childless earn 117 percent of their childless male counterparts. (This comparison controls for education, hours worked and age.) Their decisions are more like married men's, and never-married men's decisions are more like women's in general (careers in arts, no weekend work, etc.)
...
Don't women, though, earn less than men in the same job? Yes and no. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together all medical doctors. Men are more likely to be surgeons (versus general practitioners) and work in private practice for hours that are longer and less predictable, and for more years. In brief, the same job is not the same. Are these women's choices? When I taught at a medical school, I saw that even my first-year female students eyed specialties with fewer and more predictable hours.

This article ought to be read by all who think that the wage gap derives from some kind of flaw in capitalism.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your web link to the NYT doesn't work.

Gideon said...

That's odd. It still seems to work for me. The New York Times does require a free registration though.