Bias and a possible gender pay gap?

An excellent blog on unconscious bias and the gender wage gap.

My problem is some age groups have no gender pay gap such as the twentysomething women, but the gender wage explodes at the age of 29. There is no credible mechanism for that to come about because people have trouble these days judging people’s age within an accuracy of the decade, much less suddenly becoming extremely unconsciously biased against women on their 29th birthday.

croaking cassandra

The media this morning is awash with breathless reports of a new study (and slides on the main results here), conducted for the Ministry for Women, on the differences between hourly earnings for men and women.  Not a hint of scepticism has been reported in what I’ve seen and heard, even from the Deputy Prime Minister in our ostensibly centre-right market-oriented government.  On principle, one should probably always be more sceptical of research results that confirm the preferences and priors of the agencies commissioning such research.

It isn’t my area of speciality at all, so this is just a brief note.  To the extent I have a dog in the fight, on the one hand I tend to believe that markets work pretty well most of the time, which makes me instinctively suspicious of the notion of “free lunches” or that somehow huge systematic effects result from conscious or unconscious bias…

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