In January 2009, the CONSAD Research Corporation prepared a report for the US Department of Labor – “An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women.” Although the detailed report on wage disparities was prepared under contract for the Department of Labor, it no longer appears on any government website, possibly because the results didn’t fit Team Obama’s “77-cents-on-the-dollar” politically-motivated and false narrative on the gender wage gap that assumes continuing and widespread gender discrimination in the labor market – to be addressed and corrected only by government action and executive orders? Here is a summary of the main findings of the CONSAD (emphasis mine) which clearly run contrary to Team Obama’s “disparity proves discrimination and requires government action” agenda in regard to gender differences in wages:
In the political domain, the values calculated for the raw gap have been interpreted by many people as a clear indication of overt wage discrimination against women, and have been advanced as a justification for proposed policies mandating equal pay or comparable worth. In the economic domain, the values calculated for the raw gap have been the stimulus for a substantial amount of scholarly research that has attempted to identify the sources of the observed differences in earnings, and to evaluate their relative importance.
There are observable differences in the attributes of men and women that account for most of the wage gap. Statistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that collectively account for between 65.1 and 76.4% of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4%, and thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1%. These variables include:
1. A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time. Part-time work tends to pay less than full-time work.
2. A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child care and elder care. Some of the wage gap is explained by the percentage of women who were not in the labor force during previous years, the age of women, and the number of children in the home.
3. Women, especially working mothers, tend to value “family friendly” workplace policies more than men. Some of the wage gap is explained by industry and occupation, particularly, the percentage of women who work in the industry and occupation.
4. Research indicates that women may value non-wage benefits more than men do, and as a result prefer to take a greater portion of their compensation in the form of health insurance and other fringe benefits.
5. More of the raw wage gap could be explained by including some additional variables within a single comprehensive analysis that considers all of the factors simultaneously; however, such an analysis is not feasible to conduct with available data bases.
6. This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.
Bottom Line: CONSAD’s study of gender wage differences found that “there may be nothing to correct” because of the fact that men and women play different roles in the labor market and different family roles – by choice. In other words, no “Paycheck Fairness Act,” no executive orders, no government action required, and therefore not part of Team Obama’s agenda that places the importance of government action far above the importance of the voluntary choices made by individuals, with any evidence to the contrary being ignored or removed from government websites.