It’s been spoken by comedian Sarah Silverman:
MEDIA CLIP: Oh, hi. I’m Sarah Silverman, writer, comedian, and vagina owner. Women make up almost half the working population, yet we typically earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes in almost every profession.
And Senator Bernie Sanders:
There is no rational economic reason why women should earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. That has got to change.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 13, 2016
But according to Claudia Goldin, an economist at Harvard University, the gender pay gap results from multiple contributing factors. And one of those is the price women pay for being moms:
Some of the best studies that we have of the gender pay gap, following individuals longitudinally, show that when they show up right out of college, or out of law school, or after they get their M.B.A. — all the studies that we have indicate that wages are pretty similar then. So if men were better bargainers, they would have been better right then. And it doesn’t look as if they’re better bargainers to a degree that shows up as a very large number. But further down the pike in their lives, by 10-15 years out, we see very large differences in their pay. But we also see large differences in where they are, in their job titles, and a lot of that occurs a year or two after a kid is born, and it occurs for women and not for men. If anything, men tend to work somewhat harder. And I know that there are many who have done many experiments on the fact that women don’t necessarily like competition as much as men do — they value temporal flexibility, men value income growth — that there are various differences. But in terms of bargaining and competition it doesn’t look like it’s showing up that much at the very beginning.
This is not discrimination. This is a direct result of the real differences in women and men, and the impact a baby has on a woman’s life.
Listen to Dr. Goldin discuss this at the Freakonomics podcast. Also, read her lecture given at the American Economic Association, where she served as President in 2014.
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