Harvard Study Concludes: Gender ‘Wage Gap’ Due Solely to Life Choices

Confirming what the political right already knew, a Harvard study has concluded that the supposed “gender wage gap” is explained by the choices that men and women make.

Valentin Bolotnyy and Natalia Emanuel sought to find out if men and women actually were paid different wages for the same work. This was the approach to their study:

They look at data from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). This is a union shop with uniform hourly wages where men and women adhere to the same rules and receive the same benefits. Workers are promoted on the basis of seniority rather than performance, and male and female workers of the same seniority have the same choices for scheduling, routes, vacation, and overtime. There is almost no scope here for a sexist boss to favor men over women.

And yet, even here, Emanuel and Bolotnyy find that female train and bus operators earn less than their male counterparts. From this observation, they go looking for possible causes, examining time cards and scheduling from 2011 to 2017 and factoring in sex, age, date of hire, tenure, and whether an employee was married or had dependents.

They find that male train and bus drivers worked about 83 percent more overtime than their female colleagues and were twice as likely to accept an overtime shift—which pays time-and-a-half—on short notice and that around twice as many women as men never took overtime. The male workers took 48 percent fewer unpaid hours off under the Family Medical Leave Act each year. Female workers were more likely to take less desirable routes if it meant working fewer nights, weekends, and holidays. Parenthood turns out to be an important factor. Fathers were more likely than childless men to want the extra cash from overtime, and mothers were more likely to want time off than childless women.

The left is obsessed with victimhood as a form of vote grabbing, and has perpetrated this lie because the numbskulls on their side will eat it up. But even without the Harvard study, the supposed “wage gap” was obviously nonsense. Per the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is illegal to pay men and women different wages for the same work.

The wage gap, in fact, stems from a purposeful conflation of the terms “earnings” and “wages.” Earnings are what one makes total in a year. Wages are what one makes total per hour. If we add up to the total amount of money that men earn and the total amount of women that women earn in year, and do some simple division, women earn about $.80 for every $1 a man earn. But if a male and female start the same job on the same day, it is illegal to pay them different wages. The rub, as the study shows – along with tons of other data – is that the difference in earnings is due solely to life choices.

Another way to look at the argument is thusly: Despite the fact that females far outnumber males in universities across America, men are far more likely than women to study, for example, engineering, while women are far more likely to study, for example, education, than males. No one is forcing either sex to choose either profession. But engineers are paid more than teachers. Likewise, men are more likely to attend trade school to do physical labor, like plumbing and electrical work. Those are high-paying careers that, generally speaking, women choose not to pursue.

The bottom line is this: No one is stopping women from doing anything that men do. Democrats want to pretend that woman are oppressed so they can tell them that they will end the non-existent oppression. It’s as simple as that.