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Home / Carpe Diem / Who’d a-thunk it? Gender earnings differences explained by gender preferences, not discrimination? – Publications – AEI

Who’d a-thunk it? Gender earnings differences explained by gender preferences, not discrimination? – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Who’d a-thunk it? Gender earnings differences explained by gender preferences, not discrimination? This is the abstract of the job market paper “Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators” by Valentin Bolotnyy, Ph.D. candidate in economics at Harvard: Even in a unionized environment, where work tasks are similar, hourly wages are identical, and tenure dictates promotions, female workers earn %excerpt%.89 on the male-worker dollar (weekly earnings). We use confidential administrative data on bus and train operators from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to show that the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by the workplace choices that women and men make. Women value time and flexibility more than men. Women take more unpaid time off using the

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AEI
Who’d a-thunk it? Gender earnings differences explained by gender preferences, not discrimination?

This is the abstract of the job market paper “Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators” by Valentin Bolotnyy, Ph.D. candidate in economics at Harvard:

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 to show that the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by the workplace choices that women and men make. Women value time and flexibility more than men. Women take more unpaid time off using the Family Medical Leave Act and work fewer overtime hours than men. Men and women plan to work similar overtime hours when they are scheduled three months in advance, but men actually work nearly 50% more overtime hours than women. Women with dependents value time away from work more than do men with dependents. 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. Conditional on seniority, which dictates choice sets, the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by differences in operator choices of hours, schedules, and routes.

MP: Fascinating, although totally unexpected.

HT: Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution

Who’d a-thunk it? Gender earnings differences explained by gender preferences, not discrimination?
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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