Women Make Less Than Men at Every Education Level

Good Magazine recently wrote an article attacking male earnings after census data revealed that women earn less than men in every field and every given level of education.

The article states:

“…it’s clear that women are forced to seek higher and higher degrees if they hope to match their less-educated male peers in pay. A woman must secure an advanced degree in liberal arts, for example, to earn the same salary as a male peer with just a bachelor’s. According to the Census report, “any overall improvement” in the pay gap “is likely due to [women’s] increased relative levels of educational attainment.” We already knew how persistent the pay gap was, but when we list the numbers side-by-side—for every degree, in every field—the real-world impact hits hard.”

Clearly there are some obvious problems with this assessment.  The most obvious problem is that if women were really being singled out by employers, why don’t some enterprising entrepreneurs simply hire an all-female workforce and undercut their competition?

If women really deserve more, but are paid less, then there exists opportunity for additional risk free profits to be gained by the employment of an all female workforce.  Of course, since we don’t see this taking place anywhere in any market, the notion that females are “underpaid” must therefore be false.

The real reason why women tend to make lower wages on average is a mysterious disease called pregnancy.  Often this mysterious disease causes women to leave the workforce for extended periods of time.  As we all know, if you leave the workforce for an extended period and then try to reenter the labor market, your pay scale and value will be less than those who stayed working in the field their entire lives with out taking any breaks.

When these factors are controlled for, the economic analysis shows that the wage gap disappears:

It turns out, incidentally, that single, never-married women of comparable education and experience and who work full time have the same incomes as their male counterparts. The so-called wage gap completely disappears once we stop comparing apples and oranges. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, President Bush’s chief of staff for his Council of Economic Advisors, makes this point in Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America. So have many, many other economists who have bothered to study the data (and use common sense).

Common sense indeed.

Just a tiny fraction of it would throw the entire feminist movement into chaos.

  • Scott Gaff

    once again, aggregates are used to “prove” the need for market manipulation without probing deeper.

  • Another propagandist pandering to the tribalistic susceptibility in all individuals who lack self-esteem. It’s easier to become a member of a group (and threaten politicians as a voting block), than it is to demand the same separation between government and economics as we do religion. The unemployment of millions of women would be reversed in a year if the U.S. government simply took a Laissez-faire stand toward the economy. Must we wait for all corporations to off-shore before we begin to question the sanity of eat the rich tort law?