Saturday, October 04, 2008

Would my pay drop if I became a woman?

Something to ponder this weekend

The answer is "yes". But until now we couldn't be sure.

We did know that in aggregate women get worse-paying jobs than men.

We also knew that where a woman and a man do a near-identical job, most of the time the woman gets paid less.

But until now it could have been argued that many of the men just happened to have been better workers than many of the women.

Now we know beyond all doubt that if the same person in the same type of jobbecomes a woman he/she gets paid a lot less.

This isn't a penalty for the act of changing gender. Women who become men actually experience an increase in their pay.

Nifty, eh?...

Here's the study:

Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences

Kristen Schilt, University of Chicago and Matthew Wiswall, New York University

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 8 (2008) / Issue 1

"Using an original survey of male-to-female and female-to-male transgender people, we estimate that average earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increase slightly following their gender transitions, while average earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly one third."

HT: Marginal Revolution

It demonstrates the truth of this bumper sticker I remember fondly:

"A woman has to do twice as much as a man in order to be regarded as half as good. Fortunately this is not difficult."

On that subject see: Sunday dollars+sense - Who works the hardest in your office? Feb 24, 2008