Claudia Goldin on the Quest for Career and Family

Modern empirical labour economics found men too boring to study. They join workforce after school, retire at 65 then drop dead not long after!

To @paulabennettmp on poor @women_nz gender wage gap study; didn’t use Claudia Goldin’s research

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

Earlier this week in your capacity as Minister of Women’s Affairs you sponsored research on the causes of the gender wage gap in New Zealand.

That just published research was seriously incomplete. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs advised today that they were aware of the work of Claudia Goldin but did not reference it.

MWA ignored the research of the world’s top female labour economist Claudia Goldin. Her research shows that the causes of the gender wage gap are completely different to what you have suggested in the research you launched earlier this week and calls for novel policy solutions that are in a completely different ballpark to those that you have raised this week.

When education and accumulated job experience faded away as the statistical explanation of the causes of the gender wage gap, which the research you launched confirmed, Goldin explored how the organisation of work drove what remains. She called this the last chapter of the gender wage gap.

She found that jobs where the willingness to work very long hours, very specific hours and/or maintain continuous contact with co-workers or clients are highly prized and disproportionately rewarded was central to explaining the gender wage gap for well-paid workers.

Both her research and that you sponsored this week shows that the gender wage gap is close to zero for the bottom half of the wage distribution but the wage gap is 20% or more for professionals in the top 10% of wage earners.

Rather than hypothesise that employers suddenly develop an unconscious bias against successful career professionals because they are female, Goldin looked deeply into how the organisation of work and design of jobs affected how workers were paid and how women made choices about their careers and what they majored in at university in anticipation of these demanding or rat race jobs.

Goldin referred to pharmacy as the most family friendly occupation in America because pharmacists are completely interchangeable and in America the great majority of them are employed by Walmart and other big companies. Few are self-employed. The only advantage of working long hours in the pharmacy profession is you are very tired at the end of the week.

Goldin contrasted that with law or finance sector jobs which are rat race jobs.

Rat race jobs such as these disproportionately reward people who are willing to work very long hours, work very rigid hours and/or show up whenever the client wants them anywhere in the world. These jobs also severely penalise even the shortest interruption in your career track. You come back reporting to the people you hired 12-24 months ago!

After starting on the same pay, large gender wage gaps in high-powered professional occupations emerge after 5-10 years into a career as successful professionals power up to become partners or highflyers.

Importantly, Goldin found one counterfactual to this large wage gap for high-powered professionals. If your husband earns less, there is no wage gap with your MBA classmates at Harvard but you do work fewer hours per week.

Goldin’s study of the Harvard and Beyond longitudinal study was corroborated by a study she did of the top 100 occupations in the American Community Survey. The gender wage gap is limited to rat race jobs.

Goldin argued that the last chapter of the gender wage gap dependents on changing the way in which we organise work.

That is a profoundly ambitious agenda because much of the way in which high-powered professionals must work long hours and be always on call for clients is from the demands of their clients. For example, you want your lawyer to show up in court on time every time and always be available to you when you are in trouble. The legal system does not work in any other way because of the possibility of urgent applications to court etc.

Women anticipate this because, as an example, female surgeons tend to specialise in areas where they can schedule operations in advance rather than having to rush in to perform emergency surgery.

I suggest to you that you should think more deeply about the quality of advice you have just received from the causes of the gender wage gap in New Zealand.

That advice to you is profoundly at odds with the latest thinking in modern labour economics on what the causes are and what the solutions must now be for the last chapter of the gender wage gap.

A postscript has the key publications of Claudia Goldin to show why she is the world’s leading female labour economist without a doubt. You were not advised of her findings.

Cheers,

Jim Rose

Selected publications of Claudia Goldin on the labour economics of gender

  • 2016 “The Most Egalitarian of All Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family Friendly Occupation,” (with L. Katz), Journal of Labor Economics (forthcoming).
  • 2014 “A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter,” American Economic Review 104 (April), Presidential Address, pp. 1091-119.
  • 2014 “A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings.” In L. Boustan, C. Frydman, and R. Margo, Human Capital and History: The American Record (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pp. 313-48.
  • 2011 “The Cost of Workplace Flexibility for High-Powered Professionals” (with L. Katz), The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 638 (November), pp. 45-67.
  • 2010 “Dynamics of the Gender Gap among Young Professionals in the Corporate and Financial Sectors” (with M. Bertrand and L. Katz), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2 (July 2010), pp. 228-55.
  • 2008 “Transitions: Career and Family Life Cycles of the Educational Elite,” American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings 98 (May), pp. 363-69.
  • 2006 “The ‘Quiet Revolution’ That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family,” American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, (Ely Lecture), 96 (May), pp. 1-21.
  • 2006 “The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the Gender Gap in College” (with L. Katz and I. Kuziemko), Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (Fall), pp. 133-56.
  • 2006 “The Rising (and then Declining) Significance of Gender.” In F. D. Blau, M. C. Brinton, and D. B. Grusky, eds., The Declining Significance of Gender? New York: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 67-101.
  • 2004 “From the Valley to the Summit: A Brief History of the Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women’s Work,” Regional Review, Q1 vol. 14 (2004), pp. 5-12.
  • 2004 “Making a Name: Surnames of College Women at Marriage and Beyond” (with M. Shim), Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 (Spring 2004): 143-60.
  • 2002 “The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions” (with L. Katz), Journal of Political Economy 110 (August): 730-70.
  • 2000 “Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of Blind Auditions on the Sex Composition of Orchestras” (with C. Rouse), American Economic Review (September): 715-41.
  • 1997 “Career and Family: College Women Look to the Past.” In F. Blau and R. Ehrenberg, eds., Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace. New York: Russell Sage Press, pp. 20-58.
  • 1995 “The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History.” In T. P. Schultz, ed., Investment in Women’s Human Capital and Economic Development. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, pp. 61-90.
  • 1991 “Marriage Bars: Discrimination Against Married Women Workers from the 1920s to the 1950s.” In Henry Rosovsky, David Landes, and Patrice Higonnet, eds., Favorites of Fortune: Technology, Growth, and Economic Development since the Industrial Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 511-36.

 

@economicpolicy gathers more evidence of a waning gender pay gap @joshbivens_DC @eliselgould

As part of a large paper calling for massive government intervention, the Economic Policy Institute, impeccably left-wing, massed a considerable amount of evidence about the withering away of the gender wage gap and anomalies in what is left of that gap. None of these anomalies bolster the case for more regulation of the labour market.

The first of their charts showed the large reduction in the gender wage gap in the USA. Women’s wages have been increasing consistently over the last 40 years or so. The second of their tweeted charts shows that women of all races consistently outperformed men in wages growth, often by a large margin.

Their most interesting chart is about how the gender gap is not only highest among top earners, their pay gap has not fallen at all in the last 40 years. If anything, that gender wage gap is rising at the top end of the labour market albeit slowly. Progress in closing the gender gap been pretty consistent at the lower pay levels. That progress is certainly better than no progress at all.

gender gap largest among highest earners

Source: Closing the pay gap and beyond: A comprehensive strategy for improving economic security for women and families | Economic Policy Institute.

The Economic Policy Institute didn’t enquire in any detail into why women with the most options in the labour market had made the least progress in closing the gender wage gap.

None of their solutions such as more collective-bargaining and a higher minimum wage will help the top end of the job market.

There is an anomaly in the Economic Policy Institute’s reasoning. The women who would suffer least from a purported inequality of bargaining power inherent in the capitalist system and have plenty of human capital have had least success in closing the gender pay gap. These women can shop around for better job offers and start their own businesses. Many do because they are professionals where self-employment and professional partnerships are common.

The better discussions of the gender wage gap emphasise choice. Women choosing at the top end of the labour market to balance career and family and choosing the occupation and education where the net advantages of doing that are the greatest. As the Economic Policy Institute itself notes:

In 2014, the gap was smallest at the 10th percentile, where women earned 90.9 percent of men’s wages. The minimum wage is partially responsible for this greater equality among the lowest earners, as it results in greater wage uniformity at the bottom of the distribution.

The gap is highest at the top of the distribution, with 95th percentile women earning 78.6 percent as much as their male counterparts. Economist Claudia Goldin (2014) postulates that the gap is larger for women in high-wage professions because they are penalized for not working long, inflexible hours that often come with many professional jobs, due in large part to the arrival of children and long-standing social expectations about the division of household labour between men and women.

What the Economic Policy Institute does not explain is why these long-standing social expectations about the division of household labour should be strongest among well-paid women with plenty of options.

Among these options of high-powered women in well-paid jobs is the ability to buy every labour-saving appliance, hire a nanny and ample childcare and acquire everything else on the list of demands of the Economic Policy Institute on closing the gender pay gap. Something doesn’t add up?

Of course, the Economic Policy Institute discusses the unadjusted gender wage rather than the adjusted gender wage. When you study the gender wage gap after making adjustments for demographic and other obvious factors, it is clear that this pay gap is driven by the choices women make between career and family.

Claudia Goldin did a great study of Harvard MBAs using online surveys of their careers. This is the very group that according to the Economic Policy Institute have made the least progress in bringing down patriarchy in the labour market. Specifically, the overturning of traditional expectations about the marital division of labour in childcare and parenthood.

https://twitter.com/alyssalynn7/status/669219008747610113

Goldin found that three proximate factors accounted for the large and rising gender gap in earnings among MBA graduates as their careers unfold:

  • differences in training prior to MBA graduation,
  • differences in career interruptions, and
  • differences in weekly hours.

The greater career discontinuity and shorter work hours for female MBAs are largely associated with motherhood. There are some careers that severely penalise any time at all out of the workforce or working less than punishingly long and rigid hours.

A 2014 Harvard Business School study found that 28 percent of recent female alumni took off more than six months to care for children; only 2 percent of men did.

Claudia Goldin found one counterfactual that cancels out the gender wage gap amongst MBA professionals: hubby earns less! Female MBAs who have a partner who earn less than them earn as much as the average MBA professional on an hourly basis but work a few less hours per week.

The gender wage gap is persisted in high-paying jobs because career women have so many options. Studies of top earning professionals show that they make quite deliberate choices between family and career. The better explanation of why so many women are in a particular occupation is job sorting: that particular job has flexible hours and the skills do not depreciate as fast for workers who take time off, working part-time or returning from time out of the workforce.

Low job turnover workers will be employed by firms that invest more in training and job specific human capital:

  • Higher job turnover workers, such as women with children, will tend to move into jobs that have less investment in specialised human capital, and where their human capital depreciates at a slower pace.
  • Women, including low paid women, select careers in jobs that match best in terms of work life balance and allows them to enter and leave the workforce with minimum penalty and loss of skills through depreciation and obsolescence.

This is the choice hypothesis of the gender wage gap. Women choose to educate for occupations where human capital depreciates at a slower pace.

The gender wage gap for professionals can be explained by the marriage market combined with assortative mating:

  1. Graduates are likely to marry each other and form power couples; and
  2. There tends to be an age gap between men and women in long-term relationships and marriages of two years.

This two-year age gap means that the husband has two additional years of work experience and career advancement. This is likely to translate into higher pay and more immediate promotional prospects.

Maximising household income would imply that the member of the household with a higher income, and greater immediate promotional prospects stay in the workforce. This is entirely consistent with the choice hypothesis and equalising differentials as the explanation for the gender wage gap. As Solomon Polachek explains:

At least in the past, getting married and having children meant one thing for men and another thing for women. Because women typically bear the brunt of child-rearing, married men with children work more over their lives than married women. This division of labour is exacerbated by the extent to which married women are, on average, younger and less educated than their husbands.

This pattern of earnings behaviour and human capital and career investment will persist until women start pairing off with men who are the same age or younger than them. That is, more women will have to start marrying down in both income and social maturity.

NZ gender pay gap has closed – at the bottom anyway @YWCAAuckland @SFWU @JanLogie @FairnessNZ @ncwnz

The Auckland YMCA has made some strong claims about the persistence of gender wage gap saying that it is stubbornly stuck at 14% (when measured against average earnings).

Source: The gender pay gap needs to start closing.

It is not usual to measure the gender wage gap against average earnings. Median earnings preferably on an hourly basis is the normal measure. Moreover, more long-term data is readily available on the Internet about median earnings rather than average earnings.

For example, as the chart below shows the unadjusted gender wage gap in New Zealand is a little bit less than the 14% claimed by Auckland YMCA when measured against median earnings and has been slowly tapering down for 15 years.

Source: Statistics New Zealand New Zealand Income Survey.

My larger claim is the gender pay gap has been in a long-term decline for generations. More importantly, the gender will pay gap is disappeared at the bottom of the labour market. For the past 5 to 10 years, the unadjusted gender wage gap rounds down to zero at the bottom of the pay structure for full-time employees.

Source: OECD Employment Database.

The gender wage gap remains stubbornly high at the high end of the wage market at 15-20% because of compensating differentials. Women are balancing families and careers in choosing the occupations that best suits each individual woman.

Studies of top earning professionals show that they make quite deliberate choices between family and career. The better explanation of why so many women are in a particular occupation is job sorting: that particular job has flexible hours and the skills do not depreciate as fast for workers who take time off, working part-time or returning from time out of the workforce. Low job turnover workers will be employed by firms that invest more in training and job specific human capital.

  • Higher job turnover workers, such as women with children, will tend to move into jobs that have less investment in specialised human capital, and where their human capital depreciates at a slower pace.
  • Women, including low paid women, select careers in jobs that match best in terms of work life balance and allows them to enter and leave the workforce with minimum penalty and loss of skills through depreciation and obsolescence.

This is the choice hypothesis of the gender wage gap. Women choose to educate for occupations where human capital depreciates at a slower pace. This gender wage gap for professionals can be explained by the marriage market combined with assortative mating:

  1. Graduates are likely to marry each other and form power couples; and

  2. There tends to be an age gap between men and women in long-term relationships and marriages of two years.

This two-year age gap means that the husband has two additional years of work experience and career advancement. This is likely to translate into higher pay and more immediate promotional prospects. Maximising household income would imply that the member of the household with a higher income, and greater immediate promotional prospects stay in the workforce. This is entirely consistent with the choice hypothesis and equalising differentials as the explanation for the gender wage gap. As Solomon Polachek explains:

At least in the past, getting married and having children meant one thing for men and another thing for women. Because women typically bear the brunt of child-rearing, married men with children work more over their lives than married women. This division of labour is exacerbated by the extent to which married women are, on average, younger and less educated than their husbands.

This pattern of earnings behaviour and human capital and career investment will persist until women start pairing off with men who are the same age or younger than them.

Claudia Goldin did a great study of Harvard MBAs using online surveys of their careers. She found that three proximate factors accounted for the large and rising gender gap in earnings:

  • differences in training prior to MBA graduation,
  • differences in career interruptions, and
  • differences in weekly hours.

The greater career discontinuity and shorter work hours for female MBAs are largely associated with motherhood. There are some jobs that are severely penalise any time out of the workforce.  A 2014 Harvard Business School study found that 28 percent of recent female alumni took off more than six months to care for children; only 2 percent of men did.

Claudia Goldin has described pharmacy is the most family friendly occupation. She compares it to law. In law, if you work long hours, you are on partnership track and win the top clients. In pharmacy, the only advantage of working longer hours as you earn more money that week. Also, pharmacists are completely interchangeable. Do you care which pharmacist fills out your prescription at your local pharmacy or even know which one fills it out? Lawyers are not interchangeable: they cannot just handover a case. Detailed briefings would be required. You expect your lawyer to show up in court or at meetings on time anywhere without fail.

Claudia Goldin found one counterfactual that cancels out the gender wage gap amongst MBA professionals: hubby earns less! Female MBAs who’ve have a partner who earn less than them earn as much as the average MBA professional on an hourly basis but work a few less hours per week.

The gender wage gap is persisted in high-paying jobs because career women have so many options. They can mix and match career and motherhood in fine detail.

In low-paying jobs, there is little in the way of trade-offs other than full-time or part-time work. Low-paid jobs do not involve choosing majors at university, choosing careers, industries and employers that call for long hours and uninterrupted careers or not so long hours, fewer human capital and promotional penalties for time off and more work-life balance.

The choice hypothesis is the far better explanation for the persistence of the unadjusted gender wage gap in New Zealand, which is small by international standards.  As Polachek explains:

The gender wage gap for never marrieds is a mere 2.8%, compared with over 20% for marrieds. The gender wage gap for young workers is less than 5%, but about 25% for 55–64-year-old men and women.

If gender discrimination were the issue, one would need to explain why businesses pay single men and single women comparable salaries. The same applies to young men and young women. One would need to explain why businesses discriminate against older women, but not against younger women. If corporations discriminate by gender, why are these employers paying any groups of men and women roughly equal pay?

Why is there no discrimination against young single women, but large amounts of discrimination against older married women? … Each type of possible discrimination is inconsistent with negligible wage differences among single and younger employees compared with the large gap among married men and women (especially those with children, and even more so for those who space children widely apart)

The main drivers of the gender wage gap are unknown to employers such as whether the would-be recruit or employer is married, their partner is present, how many children they have, how many of these children are under 12, and how many years are there between the births of their children.

In countries such as Sweden, the gender wage gap is no better than the OECD average, despite generous maternity and paternity leave. The reason is obvious. You do not close the gender wage gap for professional women by paying them to stay out of the workforce for a year or more perhaps several times over at critical junctures early in their careers.

Long parental leave in Sweden is responsible for a thick Swedish glass ceiling because of lower levels of human capital investment among women and employers’ responses by placing fewer women in fast-track career. Extensive parental leave makes holding a job easier and more family-friendly, it may not be as effective as some might think in eradicating the gender gap for professional women.

Claudia Goldin on Gender Equality in the Labor Market

Claudia Goldin’s pollution theory of sex discrimination

Claudia Goldin argues that it is  difficult to rationalise sex segregation and wage discrimination on the basis of men’s taste for women in the same way as discrimination based on race or ethnicity. Goldin developed a pollution theory of discrimination in which new female hires may reduce the prestige of a previously all-male occupation.

When work took more brawn than brain, the distributions of skills and natural talents of men and women were further apart. Women were not as physically strong as men. This counted for more both before the Industrial Revolution and at the height of the Industrial Revolution when most factory work involved a considerable amount of brawn.

As machines substituted for strength, as brain replaced brawn and as educational attainment increased, the distributions of attributes, skills and natural talents narrowed by sex.

Because there is asymmetric information regarding the value of the characteristic of an individual woman, a new female hire may reduce the prestige of a previously all-male occupation.

Prestige is conferred by some portion of society and is based on the level of a productivity-related characteristic (e.g., strength, skill, education, ability) that originally defines the minimum needed to enter a particular occupation. People had to have a minimum amount of the socially prestigious strength or skill before they are hired.

Male fire fighters or police officers, to take two examples, may perceive their occupational status to depend on the sex composition of their police station or firehouse. These occupations are socially prestigious because of the strength and courage of police and fire-fighters. Men in an all-male occupation might be hostile to allowing a woman to enter their occupation even if the woman meets the qualifications for entry.

A reason for this hostility of the existing male members of the occupation is the rest of society may be slow to learn of the qualifications of these female newcomers. Their entry against this background of ignorance in the wider society  may downgrade the occupation as still carrying prestigious characteristics such as physical strength. As Goldin explains:

Because they feel that the entry of women into their occupations would pollute their prestige or status in that occupation. Very simply, some external group is the arbiter of prestige and status.

Let’s take an example of firemen, and let’s say we begin not that long ago when there were no women who were firemen—which is why they’re called firemen.

And to become a fireman you have to take a test, lifting a very heavy hose and running up many flights of stairs. And every night, the firemen get off from work and go to the local bar.

Everyone slaps them on the back and says what great brawny guys they are and what a great occupation they are in, and everybody knows that to be a fireman requires certain brawny traits and lots of courage.

But nobody knows when there’s a technological shock to this occupation. And in this case it might be that fire hoses become really light or the local fire department changes the test. There are information asymmetries. But they do note that for this “brawny” characteristic, the median woman is much lower.

So if we observe a woman entering the occupation and we don’t know how to judge women, we’re going to assume that her skills are those of the median woman. Or it may be that we can observe something having to do with her muscles and that may up it a little bit.

But chances are we’re going to assume that some technological shock has happened to this occupation. And so her entry into the occupation is going to pollute it.

Then when they go to the bar, people will say, “oh you’ve got a woman in the firehouse; now fire fighting has become women’s work.” That’s where the pollution comes in.

Union rules also played a role in preventing the entry of women into some occupations

Many occupations have changed sex over time e.g., librarians, bank tellers, teachers, telephone operators, and sales positions. New occupations  and industries are less like to be segregated on the basis of sex  because they have not developed a social image regarding the prestige of workers.

Occupational segregation came to an end because credentialisation, which spreads information about individual women’s productivities and shatters old stereotypes, can help expunge this pollution of the prestige of specific occupations and jobs both within the industry and in wider society .

The visibility successful women today and in the past may help shatter old stereotypes and increase knowledge about the true distribution of female attributes in this prestigious occupation.

Goldin found that  when typists were primarily men, it was claimed that typing required physical stamina so woman need not apply.

But later, when the occupational sex segregation reversed, when typing became a female occupation, it was said that typing required a woman’s dexterity, which men did not have! When I was at school, only women were taught to type.

How to End the Gender Pay Gap Once and for All

Image

Claudia Goldin and the power of the pill

Claudia Goldin has documented well that the availability of reliable contraception in the late 1960s led to an explosion in female investment in higher education, and in particular, long duration professional educations.

Although rapidly disseminated among married women once it came on the market in 1960, the pill at first was almost inaccessible to single females, due to the prevailing state laws on prescriptions of drugs.

Liberalisation of availability for single females was on a state-by-state basis and was staggered over a few years. This allowed Claudia Goldin to study what happened to investment in professional education by young women in each of those states as they reformed their laws on the dispensing of contraception to single females.

As contraception was made lawful for single women on a state-by-state basis in the USA in the late 60s and 1970s, young women started investing in long duration professional educations at an explosive rate. They stayed in high school the longer, more young women went on to college, and more of these college female students majored in long duration professional degrees.

In the 1960s, it was common to get engaged and even marry while at college in the USA. As Claudia Goldin, and her co-author Larry Katz explain:

It was a stark choice, you could be celibate, get your career started, and potentially face a very thin marriage market once you were done.

Or, you could have fun, get married earlier, and not necessarily have a career.

The availability of the pill allowed  college-age women to have certainty in their career investments and therefore the payoff of investing in professional educations was much greater.

Participation Rates Women

By decoupling sex for marriage, women could afford to defer marriage and shop around looking for better partners. Postponing marriage for at least a few years didn’t mean all the “good guys” would be taken. In addition, with higher career incomes for female college graduates, as Goldin explained:

You might think of it as the decline of the trophy wife, as women with careers who might not be as intrinsically good-looking became more highly valued than—or at least as equally valued as—women for whom appearance was a primary asset.

But as Goldin’s co-author Larry Katz explained:

Potential losers in this equation, in addition to trophy wives, are women with poor career prospects.

The clear winners are women with careers and, of course, the men they marry… Guys have more money, more sex, and less responsibility.

One side effect of the availability of contraception to better educated women was that young women with poor career prospects were also left with a pool of more unattractive men to marry.

Many of these young women who wanted to have  baby chose just to have the child, and perhaps marry the father later if the responsibilities of fatherhood turned him into marriage material.

This reversal in order of parenthood and marriage  among less well educated young women was one of the surprising social developments in the mid to late 20th century.

Women graduates increasingly put their partner’s career first after they graduate | Daily Mail Online

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Women are increasingly putting their husband’s career before their own, a controversial new study of Harvard Business School graduates has found.

It canvassed over 25,000 male and female students, and found 40 percent of Gen X and boomer women said their spouses’ careers took priority over theirs.

The researchers also said only about 20 percent of them had planned on their careers taking a back seat when they graduated.

This gender gap  found by Robin Ely, Colleen Ammerman and Pamela Stone can be better explained by the marriage market combined with assortative mating.

1. Harvard business graduates are likely to marry each other and form power couples.

2. There tends to be an age gap between men and women in long-term relationships and marriages of say two years.

This two year age gap means that the husband as two additional years of work experience and career advancement. This is highly likely to translate into higher pay and more immediate promotional prospects.

Maximising household income would imply that the member of the household with a higher income, and greater immediate promotional prospects stay in the workforce.

It is entirely possible that women to anticipate this situation both in their subject choices and career ambitions.

Claudia Goldin found that the wage gap between male and female Harvard graduates disappears in the presence of one confounding factor.

That confounding factor is obvious: the male in the relationship earns less. When this is so, Goldin found that the female in the relationship earns pretty much as do similar male Harvard graduates, except for the fact that they work less hours per week:

We identify three proximate factors that can explain the large and rising gender gap in earnings: a modest male advantage in training prior to MBA graduation combined with rising labour market returns to such training with post-MBA experience; gender differences in career interruptions combined with large earnings losses associated with any career interruption (of six or more months); and growing gender differences in weekly hours worked with years since MBA.

Differential changes by sex in labour market activity in the period surrounding a first birth play a key role in this process. The presence of children is associated with less accumulated job experience, more career interruptions, shorter work hours, and substantial earnings declines for female but not for male MBAs.

The one exception is that an adverse impact of children on employment and earnings is not found for female MBAs with lower-earning husbands.

This sociological evidence reported in the Daily Mail is entirely consistent with the choice hypothesis and equalising differentials as the explanation for the gender wage gap. As Solomon Polachek explains:

At least in the past, getting married and having children meant one thing for men and another thing for women. Because women typically bear the brunt of child-rearing, married men with children work more over their lives than married women.

This division of labour is exacerbated by the extent to which married women are, on average, younger and less educated than their husbands.

This pattern of earnings behaviour and human capital and career investment will persist  until women start pairing off with men who are the same age or younger than them.

via Women graduates increasingly put their partner’s career first after they graduate | Daily Mail Online.

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Let's examine hard decisions!

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.

STOP THESE THINGS

The truth about the great wind power fraud

Trust, yet verify

Searching for the missing pieces of climate change communication

Roger Pielke Jr.

professor, author, speaker

commentisfreewatch.wordpress.com/

Promoting fair and accurate coverage of Israel

Economics in the Rear-View Mirror

Archival Artifacts from the History of Economics

Ideas

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Lindsay Mitchell

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

Alt-M

Celebrating humanity's flourishing through the spread of capitalism and the rule of law

croaking cassandra

Economics, public policy, monetary policy, financial regulation, with a New Zealand perspective

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