The myth of the gender wage gap, part 2

Last summer, I wrote about a 2009 government-financed research report which provided evidence that the so-called “gender wage gap” – the idea that women get paid less than men because of baseless discrimination – is largely a myth. The body of evidence supporting that position continues to grow.

Recently, I came across an article published in 2011 by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that further verified much of what the 2009 report suggested. The authors reviewed various economic studies of the “gender wage gap,” and point out that this research suggests the difference between pay of men and women can be explained by things like differences in educational attainment, work experience, and occupational choice; a stronger “labor force attachment” in men (i.e., a long-term commitment to a career); a higher willingness among women to work part time; and a stronger preference among women for good benefits such as health insurance, even if it means getting less take-home pay.

This last factor was particularly strong in explaining gaps in wages between men and women. One study mentioned in the article found that the raw gap in wages between men and women was 13 percent, but after adding in work benefits the gap dropped to 3.6 percent.

Further, a recently published book written by someone who considers herself a feminist explained the difference in career attainment between men and women as a “leadership ambition gap.”  In other words, as explained by a Wall Street Journal book reviewer, “women don’t get to the top because they don’t really want to.”

In short, the evidence continues to mount that what radical feminists would call “discrimination” in the workplace is, in reality, simply the result of different labor force behaviors of men and women. In fact, almost the entire difference between men’s wages and women’s wages can be explained by these behavioral factors rather than “discrimination” against women.

But of course, we shouldn’t expect to hear radical feminist groups talk about these facts, because how can you raise money off of that?

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