Friday, June 08, 2012

To Close the Gender Pay Gap, How About an "Equal Workweek Act" or a "Workweek Fairness Act"

It's been well-documented that one factor that explains the "gender-pay gap" is the existence of a "gender-hours gap."  According to the BLS, men worked on average about five more hours per week in 2009 (40.2 hours) than women on average (35.3 hours), and that "gender-hours gap" has persisted over time.   

Two recent academic research studies have found evidence of significant "gender-hours gaps" in both the legal profession and the medical profession.

1.  In the article "Are Women Overinvesting in Education? Evidence from the Medical Profession" two professors in the Yale School of Management find that:

"In our data, the median male physician with 10 years of experience works 11 hours per week more than the median female physician in our sample with 10 years of experience. Simply put, the majority of women physicians do not appear to work enough hours earning the physician-wage premium to amortize that profession’s higher upfront investments."

2. In another research paper, "Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers," the authors find that some of the gender wage gap for young lawyers is explained by the fact that male lawyers in the group studied worked an average of more than 54 hours per week compared to their female counterparts, who worked less than 49 hours per week on average. 

MP: Despite many empirical studies showing that the large majority of gender differences in pay can be explained by hours worked and individual career and family choices made by men and women, the myth of a gender wage gap due to systematic workplace discrimination persists.  Even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits sex-based wage discrimination, new legislation in the form of the Democratic-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act was passed in the House of Representatives in 2008 was considered in the Senate this week.  The legislation failed to generate enough votes in the Senate on Tuesday, and so its future is now uncertain.

Maybe another approach should be considered.  Since some of the gender wage gap results from differences in hours worked, perhaps federal legislation could be introduced to eliminate the unfair "gender-hours gap," e.g. what about the "Equal Workweek Act" or the "Workweek Fairness Act"?  Closing the "gender-hours gap" by forcing women to work longer hours (or men to work fewer hours) would go a long way towards closing the "gender pay gap."

9 Comments:

At 6/08/2012 6:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

'Even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits sex-based wage discrimination, new legislation in the form of the Democratic-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act was passed in the House of Representatives in 2008 was considered in the Senate this week. The legislation failed to generate enough votes in the Senate on Tuesday, and so its future is now uncertain.'...

Its just more of the Democrat Female Senators war on women in action...

Even Obama got in on that scam...

 
At 6/08/2012 7:58 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Great Post!

 
At 6/09/2012 11:08 AM, Blogger Tom said...

The hours worked difference is 4.9 hours per week, or 13.9% more hours by men.
It would be good to quantify each of the other major factors: having children to care for, years worked, occupation, occupational danger, full time or part time, travel requirements, etc.

 
At 6/09/2012 4:12 PM, Blogger kmg said...

The 'pay gap' lie exposes more about female psychology than anything else.

No matter how many times the lie is logically rebutted, they still spout it nonetheless.

Why?

Because for women, feelings matter more than facts.

Also, spouting this lie gets freebies tossed their way. Why stop when the freebies are still flowing.

 
At 6/10/2012 10:16 AM, Blogger Paula said...

Tom's comment stated: "It would be good to quantify each of the other major factors: having children to care for, years worked, occupation, occupational danger, full time or part time, travel requirements, etc". What is the sense of that? lets just abolish the salary system, pay everybody a DECENT hourly wage, regardless of sex, and then if you work less, you get paid less. Probably too darn simple to legislate....

 
At 6/10/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paula: "lets just abolish the salary system, pay everybody a DECENT hourly wage, regardless of sex, and then if you work less, you get paid less. Probably too darn simple to legislate...."

So you see no role for markets or personal choice in employment?

 
At 6/10/2012 8:40 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Forgive me for being dense, but how does what i said, restrain markets and personal choice?

 
At 6/11/2012 2:31 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/11/2012 2:38 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paula: ""Forgive me for being dense, but how does what i said, restrain markets and personal choice?"

Perhaps I misread, but your comment is very short, so without further clarification, it sounds like you are advocating legislation to outlaw salaries and prescribe hourly pay, which would eliminate the ability of employees and employers to negotiate wages or conditions of employment. In other words, eliminate the relatively free market in labor. Is that the meaning you intended?

What do you consider a decent hourly wage? And if an employee is unable to produce that level of value for an employer, don't you think they will remain or become unemployed?

 

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