Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Single, Childless Women Now Earn MORE Than Men: Do We Really Need MORE Federal Legislation?

In 2009, the Consad Research Corporation conducted a comprehensive study on the gender wage gap for the Department of Labor, and produced a 95-page report titled “An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women.” This is from the report’s foreword:

There are observable differences in the attributes of men and women that account for most of the gender wage gap. These variables include:

1. A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time.

2. A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child care and elder care.

3. Women, especially working mothers, tend to value “family friendly” workplace policies more than men.

4. Women may value non-wage benefits more than men do, and as a result prefer to take a greater portion of their compensation in the form of health insurance and other fringe benefits.

The study concludes that “the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

And yet the Senate will vote this week on “The Paycheck Fairness Act,” which according to the American Association of University Women is a critical piece of legislation that “can help create a climate where pay discrimination is not tolerated, and give the new administration the enforcement tools it needs to make real progress on pay equity.”

Read more here at The Enterprise Blog about how The Paycheck Fairness Act Will Fatten Paychecks for Trial Lawyers, Not Women. 

Update: The Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate today - 60 votes were needed to move the bill forward and the supporters had only 58 votes.  

14 Comments:

At 11/17/2010 1:49 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

It's like I said...I'm a married childless woman who has been overpaid a few times in her career, but never underpaid (at least not for long).

 
At 11/17/2010 2:35 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

5. Men on average work 16% more hours each week (41.3 hours/wk for men vs. 35.6 hours/wk for women)

http://www.statcrunch.com/5.0/viewreport.php?reportid=7996

Almost all of this difference is overtime hours (see box plots). Yes, men get paid more per hour because they work more overtime.

 
At 11/17/2010 3:10 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

So much for the argument that government employees are overpaid. Sarah Palin now claims she could not afford to stay governor.

 
At 11/17/2010 5:28 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I was reading the wikipedia article on the gender wage gap. To sum up the research, the quality studies all acknowledge that there are factors that influence the gender wage gap besides sexism. But they try to account for these, and any remaining gap, which we might call Factor X, they chalk up to sexism. Of course, Factor X could be due to factors they didn't take into account, or could be due to under-calculation of the other factors. It doesn't help that they all calculate a different number for Factor X. In short, it's a statistical estimation and there's lots of uncertainty.

 
At 11/17/2010 7:12 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

We need better ways to measure such things. At present we disagree on the results for political reasons, and the result is conspiracy theories, and generally dissing results we don't like.

I believe we should be able to agree in a bipartisan way on procedure and policies that will result in measurements all can agree on.

Then we can argue in a partisan way on what to do.

As long as we first argue over the length of the ruler we can never decide what to do about the measurement.

We can do better than this.

 
At 11/17/2010 7:24 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Hydra, let's say we agree on the length of the ruler and measure the problem accurately. Then what? We have no way to reliably legislate change to fix any such problem.

That's why these things never actually get fixed. They are unfixable by governments, especially in a global economy. As soon as some well meaning moron will pass some law to make paychecks more fair, employers will vote with their feet and move jobs to places where they don't have to worry about the crazy government agencies who selectively apply rules and the self-serving lawyers who supposedly fight for our rights, but only if hey can profit mightily while doing it.

 
At 11/17/2010 10:00 PM, Blogger Locomotive Breath said...

"Sarah Palin now claims she could not afford to stay governor."

Because of an Alaska law that allows a gov's opponents to file numerous frivolous "ethics" lawsuits the defense from which the gov has to defend at PERSONAL expense.

 
At 11/18/2010 10:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Interestingly Dr. Perry's posting here regarding childless, single women and wages caught the eye of Dr. Helen Smith (the insta-wife of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame) and has posted the following: "The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

 
At 11/18/2010 11:25 AM, Blogger Rand said...

To Locomotive Breath:

That's just another argument for "loser pays". If someone files a frivolous lawsuit, they should have to reimburse the defendant for legal expenses and for time lost.

 
At 11/18/2010 12:54 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

We have no way to reliably legislate change to fix any such problem.

==============================

One thing at a time. Right now we have now way to measure what is happening or what current conditions are. Look at the threads on unemploymnent data or CPI, which no one can agree on.


After we have measurements we can accept, we still have partisan arguments over what to do. Each side will have its own answer.

Whichever side is in power will get its answer legislated, more or less.

Then we have a new round of measurements, and remember we already agree on the lenght of the ruler and how these should be done.

Either the legislation that got enacted made an improvement, or not. That is going to inform the next round of debate and the next round of legislation.

But right now, we cannot even agree on the easy stuff, because we are afraid the answer won't be one we like.

For myself, I'm looking for a "more correct" answer, and I don't care which party it belongs to. I'd rather have a right answer than my answer.

Consequently, when either party gives me an answer that sounds canned, or sounds like dogma, or has the identical code phrases I have heard before, then I am inclined to beleive there is not a whole lot of thinking going into the particulars of this answer.

What we have is a pre-recorded answer looking for a question. I don;t blame anyone for this, business does it too. If Chevey has a pickup with a built in generator, and it is just what you need for your application, your ford dealer isn't going to tell you about it.

He is going to try to "sell" you his answer, even if it is wrong.

 
At 11/18/2010 1:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Sarah Palin now claims she could not afford to stay governor."

Because of an Alaska law that allows a gov's opponents to file numerous frivolous "ethics" lawsuits the defense from which the gov has to defend at PERSONAL expense.

==================================

And now she wants to be President.

Has not some of the Republican leadership promised to stalemate the Obama administration by investigating them to death?

I don't thnk there is anything frivolous about ethics, but I alsoo don't think that ethics investigations should be used as offensive weapons, any more than environmental law should be used as offensive weapons.

 
At 11/18/2010 1:08 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

That's just another argument for "loser pays".

==============================

I agree with Rand in principle, but we know what the situation is in law: the guy with the deepest pockets has the advantage.

"Loser pays" further stacks the deck against the smaller plaintiff.

I don't have an answer, but just becasue a plaintiff loses a lawsuit does not necessarily mean it was frivolous. Just ill-advised.

 
At 11/18/2010 4:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I don't have an answer..."...

Duel at sunrise with sabers?

 
At 11/18/2010 5:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I agree with Rand in principle, but we know what the situation is in law: the guy with the deepest pockets has the advantage.

"Loser pays" further stacks the deck against the smaller plaintiff.


I've heard this argument before. You're basically saying that loser pays in imperfect. But, it's a pretty powerful deterrent to the countless frivolous lawsuits we currently clogging the taxpayer funded court system.

This is a human endeavor. It will always be imperfect. I'd rather have a better imperfect than a worse imperfect.

 

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