Bogus Study Perpetuates Wage Gap Myths
NCPA November 5, 2012
The American Association of University Women's (AAUW) recent investigative report, "Graduating to a Pay Gap," postulates that millennial women make 82 cents for every dollar a male peer makes. Based on this finding, the AAUW advocates for bolder pay equity legislation, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
However, further examination finds that women make 93 cents -- not 82 cents -- on a man's dollar, after accounting for all college majors and occupation. The seven cent difference may be attributed to discrimination, but this could be due to equivocality of the data.
- The study's occupational categories are too broad.
- Therefore, one cannot draw an accurate understanding about pay equity when workers share little career overlap.
- For example, the AAUW report compares the pay of male lawyers with that of female librarians; of male athletes with that of female communications assistants.
- There is little evaluation between people who do the same work.
- To demonstrate discrimination, the investigation should detail differences in salaries of men and women in the same job with the same experience.
- Given similar conditions, if there are discrepancies between wages, then there may be discrimination at play -- warranting prosecution.
Why publish such a careless report? Furchtgott-Roth says it is to get young women to feel that they are victims of discrimination and to take the steps necessary to amend their situation.
- In this case, it is to vote for President Obama who is promising pay equity.
- However, under Obama's reign, women have fared poorly.
- Women participation in the labor market has decreased from 57 percent in 2009 to 55 percent in 2012.
- Moreover, during this time, female unemployment numbers increased from 4.4 million to 4.9 million.
- Even in the White House, women are paid 90 cents on a man's dollar.
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Bogus AAUW Study Perpetuates Wage Gap Myths," Washington Examiner, October 30, 2012.