Gender Pay Data Gap

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

On Monday, at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a trio of scholars alternately claimed that there is a gender pay gap and insisted that we need to pass laws to get data to prove that there is.  “How do we find out if there is any discrimination without pay data?,” Georgetown’s Ed Montgomery asked on a panel at CAP.

Montgomery, who also worked in the Clinton Administration, asserted that there are ways to collect such data while maintaining privacy. Only at CAP would such an assurance not be met with skepticism in the wake of scandals involving violations of privacy by agencies as diverse as the IRS and the National Security Agency.

The panel Montgomery was on followed remarks by Betsey Stevenson of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. Stevenson, also an associate professor at the University of Michigan, repeated the Obama Administration’s mantra that women earn “77 cents on the dollar” while men walk off with the entire buck. She then announced that the president was signing an executive order the next day to obtain pay scales from federal contractors: a tacit admission that the administration did not even have cents on the dollar information on government workers.

Nevertheless, “According to a Daily Caller analysis of the 2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff,  the most recent available data on White House pay, the White House paid women an estimated 11.8 percent less than men in 2013,” Caroline May reported in The Daily Caller on April 6, 2014.

Economist Diana Furcthtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute discovered that “The 77 percent figure is bogus because it averages all full-time women, no matter what education and profession, with all full-time men. Even with averaging, Labor Department data show that women working full-time make 81 percent of full-time men’s weekly wages.

When women are compared to men in the same job, with the same numbers of years in the workforce, they make about 95 percent of men’s wages. The remaining nickel could be discrimination, or it could be a measurement error.” (Full disclosure: Furchtgott-Roth will be teaching a Massive Open Online Course on the so-called gender pay gap for Accuracy in Academia.)

Could it be that Obama Administration spokesman Jay Carney had it backwards? It appears that the most glaring gender pay gap in the country is in the White House itself.

Not so incidentally, the Pew Research Center found that “Overall, a growing share of stay-at-home mothers say they are home because they cannot find a job: 6% in 2012, versus 1% in 2000.”

Meanwhile back at CAP, Victoria Budson of the Kennedy School of Government concluded that “In the U. S., our talent pool is predominantly female” because women earn the most college degrees. Perhaps, although as novelist Tom Wolfe noted, “Nobody is going to pay you to study gender.”



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