One economist found that women received a pay bump in fields with higher rates of harassment. But “danger pay” isn’t the whole story.
Sexual harassment in offices, newsroom, movie studios, and the halls of Congress has exploded in the media consciousness in 2017, but it’s most certainly not new — or rare. In the last decade, researchers have examined how often sexual harassment happens (frequently) and how effective tools are aimed at preventing it (not very). But relatively little research exists on how sexual harassment in the workplace affects salaries. But one study suggests that there is a connection between the two.
Joni Hersch, an economist and professor of law and economics at Vanderbilt University, published a study on women’s pay and sexual harassment in 2011. She found that women employed in workplaces where sexual harassment is common earn a bit more than they would in jobs with a lower risk.
Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, assessed Hersch’s findings and disagrees with the conclusion that women earn “danger pay.” However, she makes a complementary argument: Women not willing to put up with harassment are being pushed out into lower-paying jobs.
Even though the economists disagree on the existence of danger pay, they both conclude that the risk of or experience of harassment leads some women to take jobs that pay them less than what they might otherwise make. The counterintuitive idea that women make may more for being harassed suggests that walking away comes with a price.
As more and more women have stepped forward to call out abuse by powerful men, the big question is no longer “does this really happen?” After hundreds of stories and dozens of investigations, the answer is clear: “absolutely.” Now, it’s time to tackle another question: What Read More Here