S01E15 – What’s behind the gender pay gap?

In this episode of Finding Common Battle Grounds, Josh, Ryan, and Tom discuss the often-repeated finding that women are paid less money than men, which is commonly referred to as the “gender pay gap.” There is general agreement that the gender pay gap exists, but disagreement about how big it is and what the cause is. We agree that other differences between men and women – like hours worked or years on the job – account for some of the differences in pay. Where the primary disagreement lies is in capturing what accounts for the remaining gap. Josh is inclined to think that the gap is not due to sexism but rather other differences between men and women that lead employers to pay women less that are justifiable. Ryan is inclined to think that the gap starts with discrimination due to women being “at-risk” to have a child (a.k.a. the “womb penalty”) and then increases over time whenever there are differences in womens’ involvement in the labor force due to the higher expectation for women to perform caretaking roles for kids and other family members.

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