Do Women Earn Less than Men?

Another contemporary economic myth is that women make 75 cents for every dollar men make because they’re discriminated against in labor markets. Like other myths, this does have a kernel of truth to it. So for example, if you add up all the incomes of women and divide by the number of women in the labor force and then do the same thing for men, what you’ll find is, on average, women do make about 75% of what men do.

What’s happening here is not discrimination in the labor market, but differences in the choices that men and women make (about investing in their knowledge, their education, their skills, and their job experiences) that lead to them getting paid different salaries.

13 Comments

  1. agavin2342

    This is a really eye-opening video. I think we’ve all just heard and accepted that statistic, never really thinking about what was behind the statistics. So when everybody got upset because of the Women’s Paycheque Fairness Act, there was a reason not everybody was happy about it–it’s not always about discrimination, but the choices that women make when entering into the workforce and deciding whether to start a family. 

  2. Kroskia

    I agree especially when you see those videos on feminism you’ll hear it all the time; "it’s discrimination!" and most people think nothing of it, this video totally debunks that fallacy.

  3. Jonathan Taylor

    There is, if businesses all conspired out of sexism to pay men more than equally skilled and hard-working women on a per hour basis, then the competition could easily hire women, pay a lower rate, and put the sexist idiots out of business. 

    I always find it amusing when I hear the same people complaining that businesses are blindly greedy, then also complain that the same businesses will pay one person more than another on the basis of race or gender. If one were greedy, it would stand to reason that they would always hire at the lowest price possible.
  4. rlspann89

    He didn’t have me convinced at all until the end. Societal expectations of gender roles (though has certainly improved leaps and bounds over time) plays a vastly important role in this issue.

  5. Static Chicken

    The evidence presented here is not persuasive enough in light of the damning evidence that women in the same occupation with the same qualifications tend to statistically earn less. The issue isn’t about the choices different people make, it’s about women doing the exact same jobs as men earning much less despite comparable qualifications.

    The video addressed that more as a footnote, and while it is true that within some occupations the pay gap is very small, that is an anomaly. Look up the statistics for just about any job and you’ll find with few exceptions, women get paid less than men. There really isn’t any controversy on this issue.

  6. Hunter Markson

    Women are underrepresented in the Liberty movement.  Though there are legitimate arguments against feminists, I think we should focus on how women are being oppressed by the government.

  7. Lukas Koube

    bravo Dr. Horwitz. you always do a great job. i wonder what you would say to someone who claims that this is still oppression….that society is oppressing women by telling them to have children…would you talk about the subjective value that ppl get from rearing children rather than working? or would you say that no one wants to work, they would rather have leisure, so the gender wage gap is not a good measure of equality?

    for example, a rich 30 year might live a life of leisure, but make 0 in salary bc they dont work. this person is not oppressed, but they  make far less than someone on minimum wage. 
  8. Anonymous

    I didn’t watch the video.  I actually read the words.  Here is the deal.  We have a pervasive and subversive gender prejudice in this country.  So pervasive and subversive that it exists mainly in the cultural subconscious.  The so-called career “choices” that women make are traditionally women’s work–service and care oriented.  As a society, we do not value this work as much as we do traditional men’s work, especially that which is tied to the petroleum industry, and incidentally receives $170 billion dollars in tax subsidy/incentive, while traditional women’s work, often financed entirely by public dollars because everyone feels “entitled” to it, receives far less support. The petroleum industry lobbies congress to make rules conducive to their profits, and regulate the fledgling alternative energy corporations out of business.  We live in a patriarchal society that values dominating the earth by tearing up and remaking the environment, and sometimes simply raping the earth without bothering to remake it.  Our value systems make us who we are, and until we learn to value caring for each other more than tearing each other apart, men will always be rewarded over women. 

  9. Anonymous

    Steven Horwitz, you’re a complete imbecile ! do your research properly please because its not about the before process, woman who do the same jobs as men in certain countries do get paid less then men, its a known fact. 

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