woman working

  • In just about every occupation, women earn less than men.
  • But while it’s true that some women receive lower pay for equal work, research suggests in many cases something else is contributing to the gender wage gap.
  • Ultimately, it boils down to how flexible work is approached.

Closing the gender pay gap isn’t as simple as championing equal pay for equal work.

And statistics citing annual earnings between male and female full-time, full-year workers (the US Census Bureau’s latest data indicates women earned 82% of what men earned in 2016) don’t tell the whole story, according to Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University who has spent years researching gender economics.

“What economists do is they use data to figure out whether the individuals are the same; they try to make them comparable as possible; they squeeze out these differences and productive attributes; they look for individuals who have the same education, the same labor-force participation rates over their life cycle, etc.,” Goldin explains to Freakonomics Radio host Stephen J. Dubner.

When doing this, we still see a gender wage gap. But as Goldin ponders, “does that mean that women are receiving lower pay for equal work? That is possibly the case in certain places, but by and large, it’s not that. It’s something else.”

When looking at gender earnings gaps by occupation, Goldin found something that might surprise people.

By comparing the 469 occupations in the US Census, she found that women disproportionately holding certain jobs only accounted for about 25% of the difference in earnings between men and women. Factors within each occupation overwhelmingly accounted for differences in pay.

Goldin tells Dubner, “the lion’s share of the difference is due to the fact that in every occupation, just about, women receive less than men.”

And they’re receiving less Read More Here