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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2012

Study Finds Male Lawyers Make More than Female Librarians

The American Association of University Women is trying to get young professional women politically motivated with shoddy research on pay equity, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth. She takes apart AAUW’s recent study claiming “just one year out of college, millennial women are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male peers. Women are paid less than men even when they do the same work and major in the same field”:

Buried in the report is the finding that, accounting for college majors and occupations, women make 93 cents (not 82) on a man’s dollar. The remaining seven cents, the authors contend, is likely due to discrimination, because they cannot explain it. So let me offer a possible explanation for them: The study’s occupational categories are too broad. One cannot draw precise conclusions about pay equity when comparing workers within fields such as “Other White Collar,” “Business and Management” and simply, “Other Occupations.”

A footnote tells readers that “Other White Collar” includes “social scientists and related workers ... ; lawyers, judges, and related workers; education, training, and library occupations ... ; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations; social science research assistants; and law clerks.” So, the AAUW report compares the pay of male lawyers with that of female librarians; of male athletes with that of female communications assistants. That’s not a comparison between people who do the same work.

“Other Occupations” includes jobs in construction and mining, a high-paying, male-dominated occupation, and also jobs in food preparation and serving occupations, a low-paying, female-dominated occupation. If a waitress is paid less than a miner, does it follow that it’s because she’s been discriminated against? [Washington Examiner, October 30]

No, it doesn’t.

Posted on 11/01/12 08:07 PM by Alex Adrianson

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