Gender pay gap myths and Elections 2008

Updated 2019 05 14, to add links to related articles.

The Washington Times, 2007 11 18

FORUM: Gender pay gap myths and Elections 2008

Gender pay gap myths — A headline by Reuters on Nov. 7 was startling and certainly newsworthy: “Female U.S. corporate directors out-earn men: study.” Yet, one full week later there was no newspaper coverage of this politically incorrect report, though the study was based on 25,000 corporate directors at 3,200 companies with female directors being an 8-to-1 minority.

The Reuters report stands in stark contrast to the politically correct – but empirically incorrect – Associated Press story that blanketed the nation on April 23, 2007. The AP story was based on the advocacy press release of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that claimed after one year out of college women earned 20 percent less than men and that the gap widened 10 years later to 31 percent. The AP did not tell the nation that statistical analyses accompanying the press release reduced the two purported gaps to 5 percent and 12 percent respectively (http://www.aauw.org/research/upload/behindPayGap.pdf).

The comparison of the Reuters and AP stories leads us to four important questions. First, can we have full confidence in Associated Press stories? The answer clearly is no. Second, is there really a gender pay gap?

This answer here also appears to be no based on research published in America’s most prestigious peer-reviewed Economics journal. Economist June O’Neill, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, wrote an article titled “The gender gap in wages, circa 2000” in the May 2003 issue of the American Economic Review. By factoring in some of the many work-related differences between men and women such as hours worked per week, danger and travel requirements of the job, years of education, years in the field, and many other characteristics, she found the purported pay gap virtually vanished…. (Full Story)
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Note by F4L: The report proves that recent national front-page coverage based on the AAUW claim (fully endorsed by Hillary Clinton and a major issue used in her appeal to women voters) is nothing but a big hoax. (See also related information at F4L: Pay equity for women doesn’t exist?)


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