Thursday, October 8, 2020

Anonymity Doesn't Eliminate the Gender Wage Gap

 Not even completely removing all personal identifiers makes the gender pay gap disappear:

Studies of the gender pay gap are seldom able to simultaneously account for the range of alternative putative mechanisms underlying it. Using CloudResearch, an online microtask platform connecting employers to workers who perform research-related tasks, we examine whether gender pay discrepancies are still evident in a labor market characterized by anonymity, relatively homogeneous work, and flexibility. For 22,271 Mechanical Turk workers who participated in nearly 5 million tasks, we analyze hourly earnings by gender, controlling for key covariates which have been shown previously to lead to differential pay for men and women. On average, women’s hourly earnings were 10.5% lower than men’s. Several factors contributed to the gender pay gap, including the tendency for women to select tasks that have a lower advertised hourly pay. This study provides evidence that gender pay gaps can arise despite the absence of overt discrimination, labor segregation, and inflexible work arrangements, even after experience, education, and other human capital factors are controlled for. 

In their conclusion the authors try hard to convince us that despite their findings they are not deplorable people:

By explicitly locating women’s economic decision making on the MTurk platform in the broader context of inegalitarian gender norms and labor market experiences outside of it (as above), we seek to distance our interpretation of our findings from implicit endorsement of traditional gender roles and economic arrangements and to promote further investigation of how the observed gender pay gap in this niche of the gig economy may reflect both broader gender inequalities and opportunities for structural remedies.

Via Marginal Revolutions. I think what remains of the pay discrepancy after factoring in motherhood mostly derives from men being on average more arrogant, assertive, and greedy than women. Viz., I have seen several studies over the years that say men get higher salaries because they push harder to get raises.

Nice people are happier, but they make less money.


G. Verloren said...

How can you possibly actually anonymize workers?

Are these people hired and paid anonymously? Do they not conduct interviews, either in person or over the phone? Do their names not show up on payroll?

Who cares if the work itself can be anonymized - the employer still presumably knows what sex the people they hire and pay are. How could they NOT? That alone would be all you need to produce a pay gap.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if the identity of the employee isn't known to the clients of Mechanical Turk - Amazon themselves still know the personal identifications of their own employees, and still determines how much to pay them.

JustPeachy said...

I am certainly not the first to point out that men are far more likely to *want* to sacrifice having a life, for having a job that pays well. On average, they work longer hours, take more risks, and are more likely to prioritize career over family, so it's not surprising there's still a wage gap, particularly in salaried jobs. For the same salaried positions, the men are putting in more hours at the office than the women.

Women have always been able to make the career vs. life calculation better than men.

What's mysterious is that after all this time, men haven't figured out the racket, and researchers still think money's the only metric that's important.