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Manhattan Institute

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Issues 2016: Are Women Paid Less than Men?

issue brief

Issues 2016: Are Women Paid Less than Men?

April 6, 2016
EconomicsEmployment
OtherCulture & Society

Abstract

Progressives often claim that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. But this statistic looks only at raw averages and does not take into account factors such as education, skills, and hours worked.

Key Findings

  • The education that women pursue, the jobs that they take, and the career paths that they follow vary significantly from those of men: for instance, nine of the ten lowest-paying college majors are dominated by women, while men are disproportionately represented in the ten highest-paying college majors.
  • Apples-to-apples comparisons show that women earn 94 cents–97 cents on the dollar compared with men; yet single, childless female workers under 30 earn $1.08 for every dollar earned by their respective male counterparts.
  • Proposed solutions to the wage gap will create more problems than they will solve: the Paycheck Fairness Act, for example, would make it easier to sue employers for pay differences, thereby discouraging hiring; lawyers, not female employees, would benefit from such wage-gap legislation.

READ FULL REPORT

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Return to the Manhattan Institute's Issues 2016 series

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow and director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute. Follow her on Twitter here.

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