Monday, February 01, 2016

Women Earn 97 Percent As Much As Men

Among recent college graduates, that is, and after controlling for college major.

A Liberty Street Economics analysis of the wages of men and women aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor's degree finds women earning 97 percent as much as men after controlling for college major. In 29 of 73 college majors examined, women earned more than men—including social services, treatment therapy, industrial engineering, and art history.

Among college graduates aged 35 to 44, however, the analysis found men earning 15 percent more than women on average. In every major in which women earned more than men among young adults, the advantage disappeared by middle age. In the majors in which men earned more than women among young adults, the earnings gap expanded. What's behind this shift?

Discrimination could be one reason for the shift, say the researchers, but women's greater family responsibilities are a likely major contributor. "Because raising a family often requires more flexible schedules, those with family responsibilities who have difficulty satisfying time sensitive work demands may face lower wages," they explain. "In fact, in jobs where such time demands are largely absent, and more flexibility is possible, the pay gap has been found to be much smaller."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics, When Women Out-Earn Men

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