Friday, March 01, 2013

Bad Statistics

There's nothing stickier than a bad "statistic", and this one is one of the stickiest and one of the worst:
Everyone from the President on down recites the mantra that women earn only 77 cents to the male dollar. However, a Dept of Labor report in 2010 concluded unambiguously that the principal reason for economic difference was personal choice - perhaps not a free choice but one made by persons in the economy. One huge example: some 85% of women have children and the average mother tends to leave the labor force for 5-8 years and is much more likely than a male to work part-time. Both lead to reduced income. Add that males take the higher-paying jobs such as commercial fishing, which are dangerous and lead to much higher fatality and injury rates, and we begin to derive a picture different from the conventional statistician's view that if there's a discrepancy it must be imposed not


momof4 said...

You can see this in medicine; most women choose the lower-paying specialties (rarely surgery)and also tend to accept lower salaries in return for shorter/more predictable hours. A relative who works on Wall Street said that a new woman hire (from top-5 MBA program)left the company after less than 3 months; she wouldn't take the 80+ hour weeks (including weekends) - and she had no kids.

I'm sure I remember reading that, compared to men in the same job/specialty, unmarried women without kids earn at least as much as men. Women tend to put family first.

maxutils said...

The only way these stats are relevant is if they examine the same work with the same experience, period. You take off 5 years to raise you r kid to school age? I totally respect your decision. But, you did put yourself 5 years back. I am absolutely positive that a first year alaska crab fisher man and a first year alaskan crab fisherwoman would make exactly the same amount.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone show us a job where a man is paid more than a woman because the employer is discriminating? I seriously doubt anyone can. However, Democrats need their victims and when you can argue 50% of the population are victims based on a flawed statistic, who's going to stop them? At one time our press would call out these lies, but not anymore.