Monday, May 21, 2007

There is No Pay Gap for Singles 35-43 W/No Kids

From yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune, my article on the pay gap, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney's (D-NY) side of the issue. (Note: They somehow messed up my article by mixing a draft version with the final version, here is the actual final version.)

I had email questions from several professors about sources for my claim of “no pay gap after controlling for all of the factors that affect earnings." One of my sources is a 2005 NBER working paper "
What Do Wage Differentials Tell Us about Labor Market Discrimination?" by June O'Neill (Professor of economics at Baruch College CUNY, and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office), who conducts an empirical investigation using census data, and she concludes:

"There is no gender gap in wages among men and women with similar family roles. Comparing the wage gap between women and men ages 35-43 who have never married and never had a child, we find a small observed gap in favor of women, which becomes insignificant after accounting for differences in skills and job and workplace characteristics.

This observation is an important one because it suggests that the factors underlying the gender gap in pay primarily reflect choices made by men and women given their different societal roles, rather than labor market discrimination against women due to their sex."


At 5/21/2007 1:49 PM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Interestingly, the backers of the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act state that the back-pay provisions of the current Equal Pay Act are insubstantial and they call for a law with both compensatory and punitive damages. If the back-pay provisions that are designed to make the discriminated employee “whole” (that’s how back-pay should be designed) are adequate using the current legislation, then, where’s the “pay gap”?

Is the Paycheck Fairness Act supposed to right a wrong that is already addressed by the Equal Pay Act that has been in effect for over forty years, or punish the employer and consumer with higher prices for perceived gender discrimination?

At 5/22/2007 6:35 AM, Anonymous Walt G. said...

Here are the present employment laws copied out of my U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission manual. After further investigation, punitive damages for discrimination are already possible under the EPA Act (1963) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (except for federal, state, and local governments). Do we really need more laws and grandstanding politicians?

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

• the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

• the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

• Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;

• Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and

• the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.


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