AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (9 comments)

  1. While I’m all for bashing Obama on anything and everything, most of which he deserves, the truth is the “gender pay gap” does not exist. I assume this is a tongue in cheek poke at a liberal/socialist for perpetuating the “gender pay gap” myth when they know there is no such thing.

    1. Yes, it’s satire.

    2. Ruth Walker

      For which jobs in the White House does the president determine the pay scale? (I supposed workers there were paid according to federal guidelines determines elsewhere.)

  2. I was pretty sure it was satire, but it can be hard to tell. Poe’s Law.

    Can I assume the numbers are real, if misleading?

    1. It’s as real as the thing it’s satirizing. That is, if you believe that the difference in nominal income between women and men in America is evidence of discrimination against women in America, then you must conclude that a difference in the White House is evidence of discrimination within the White House.

  3. John B. Chilton
  4. Thanks Mark! Always enjoy your commentary.

    Bob, the most recent data I’ve seen for 2012 is that women earn 81% or 84% of men depending on whether you look at weekly earnings or hourly earnings based on the “raw data” from BLS.

    The key however is that the “raw data” does not consider the usual variables that most rational people would consider when attempting to determine whether compensation was fairly determined. We hear from the media all the time that a man and a woman doing the same job should be compensated similarly. Most of us would agree with that statement, except that’s not what is being measured. The “raw data” make no adjustments for job position, industry, experience, or a host of other variables which go into determining just compensation.
    When these common sense variables are adjusted for, the “pay gap” disappears.

    The Department of Labor contracted with CONSAD Research Corporation in 2009 to study this issue. In a report titled “An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women”, both CONSAD and the Dept. of Labor conclude that there is likely no gender pay gap when the relevant variables are considered

  5. Beyond the editorial vagaries of the author, the CONSAD report concludes that “[s]tatistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that
    collectively account for between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent, and
    thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent.”

    That is patently not zero. Arguing that a 5% wage gap is an acceptable difference in wages between genders is one thing; claiming that there is no data-supported gap is another.

  6. “the ‘raw data’ make no adjustments for job position, industry, experience, or a host of other variables which go into determining just compensation.
    When these common sense variables are adjusted for, the “pay gap” disappears.”

    Every argument I’ve seen for the existence of a wage gap claims to have adjusted for those variables and more.

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