Tuesday, April 8, 2014

77 some said...stripped of logic

Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs make mincemeat of Barack Obama's latest attempt to divert attention from the most anemic economic recovery since the 1930s;
The BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men's earnings in 2012.
The supposed pay gap appears when marriage and children enter the picture. Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. 
This isn't new. Even when the supposed discrepancy was 59%, sober scholars had shown that when proper controls for education, work experience, and hours worked were put in place the discrepancy was near zero. Some of which, Biggs and Perry spell out;
Education also matters. Even within groups with the same educational attainment, women often choose fields of study, such as sociology, liberal arts or psychology, that pay less in the labor market. Men are more likely to major in finance, accounting or engineering. And as the American Association of University Women reports, men are four times more likely to bargain over salaries once they enter the job market.
Risk is another factor. Nearly all the most dangerous occupations, such as loggers or iron workers, are majority male and 92% of work-related deaths in 2012 were to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries to attract workers. Also: Males are more likely to pursue occupations where compensation is risky from year to year, such as law and finance. Research shows that average pay in such jobs is higher to compensate for that risk. 
Ivy League grad (and Harvard Law) Barack Obama surely has had the opportunity to learn this. Or, Obama could simply have asked Larry Summers.

Then there's his own Council of Economic Advisers;
“If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke,” [Betsey] Stevenson said. “So let me just apologize and say that I certainly wouldn’t have meant to say that.”

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