Not that it matters to the left, but a study from Harvard University titled Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? proves the gender wage gap is indeed a myth because of the obvious reasons: work choices between men and women.

Why do men make more than women? Their choice of jobs and working a lot of overtime.

In order to prove their point, authors Valentin Bolotnyy and Natalia Emanuel looked at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). It is unionized, which means men and women are treated the same and have to follow the same rules and receive the same benefits. So why do the men earn more?

From the study’s abstract (emphasis mine):

Even in a unionized environment where work tasks are similar, hourly wages are identical, and tenure dictates promotions, female workers earn $0.89 on the male-worker dollar (weekly earnings). We use confidential administrative data on bus and train operators from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to show that the weekly earnings gap can be explained by the workplace choices that women and men make. Women value time away from work and flexibility more than men, taking more unpaid time off using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and working fewer overtime hours than men. When overtime hours are scheduled three months in advance, men and women work a similar number of hours; but when those hours are offered at the last minute, men work nearly twice as many. When selecting work schedules, women try to avoid weekend, holiday, and split shifts more than men. To avoid unfavorable work times, women prioritize their schedules over route safety and select routes with a higher probability of accidents. Women are less likely than men to game the scheduling system by trading off work hours at regular wages for overtime hours at premium wages. These results suggest that some policies that increase workplace flexibility, like shift swapping and expanded cover lists, can reduce the gender earnings gap and disproportionately increase the well-being of female workers.

Overtime pays time-and-a-half. The authors found that men train and bus drivers accepted overtime more than their women counterparts by 83%. These males twice as likely took overtime than the females. Men accepted scheduled overtime scheduled three months in advance 7% more than the women.

As women moved up the food chain and had the opportunity to prioritize their schedules, the majority of them “moved away from working weekends, holidays, and split shifts more than men.”

Bolotnyy and Emanuel wrote that the evidence they discovered “so far on the earnings gap in our setting suggests that insufficient flexibility and high female values of time outside the workplace are its root causes.”

John Phelan, an economist at the Center of the American Experiment, provided an excellent analysis of the study. The gender wage gap came to light due to a dumb methodology that ignores basic observations (emphasis mine):

It ignores the fact that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, men worked an average of 8.05 hours in an average day compared to 7.24 hours for women.

True, women are more likely to be raising children, taking care of elderly family members, or doing housework, leaving them with fewer hours in the day for paid employment. But this does not alter the essential fact: that people working fewer hours, on average, can be expected to earn lower incomes, on average.

Let me repeat: When you work fewer hours, you will make less than what others make who work more hours.

This led Phelan to conclude that this “‘gender wage gap’ is as real as unicorns and has been killed more times than Michael Myers.”


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