There Goes $14,000

Just a selection of data from this report on the gender pay gap in academia:

Academic Discipline Women Men N Women Men Female differential
Earth, Atmosphere, and Oceanographic Sciences 8.0% 92.0% 50 $64,751 $79,410 -$14,659
Civil Engineering 15.0% 85.0% 40 $65,169 $78,829 -$13,660
Mechanical Engineering 8.0% 92.0% 50 $66,979 $88,958 -$21,979
Physics 7.3% 92.7% 55 $55,411 $86,600 -$31,189
Physical Sciences, Other 15.0% 85.0% 20 $67,418 $76,327 -$8,909

The report doesn’t list discipline-specific corrections for things like experience, number of publications, external funding, etc., but it does take those factors into account studywide – and yes, Virginia, there is a pay gap.

Via Alas, who has a good critique of the Inside Higher Ed article covering the study.


  1. Lab Lemming wrote:

    This study seems long on statistics, and short on causality.

    How very feminist.

    Identifying a wage gap isn’t all that useful, unless you can determine when and how it forms. Without that information, it is easy to dismiss a study.

    For example:
    Most of the salary load in academia is for people who have been working for 25+ years; these are people who were grad students in the 70’s or earlier.

    Since a lot of graduate programs didn’t even accept women in the 60’s and early 70’s, it is very obvious that serious discrimination existed when the people now at the top of the pay scale did their studies.

    So perhaps the wage gap a fossilized relic of past discrimination, and will disappear as soon as gender equality in education filters through the system.

    Prove me wrong.

  2. Lab Lemming wrote:

    1. Your contact page is still down.

    2. The following line is probably not supposed to be the header for all of your pages:
    Warning: in_array(): Wrong datatype for second argument in /home/greengabbro/public_html/wp-content/plugins/BAStats/BAStats_logger.php on line 114

  3. criminy.crickets wrote:

    LL: Blog restoration work is on a back burner (waaaay in the back) until the semester is over, but thanks. And, ooh, zing!

    Granted, the $14,000 figure is an average value for all experience levels, and I threw it around a bit flippantly; I thought it made the best soundbite. However – I don’t have to prove you wrong, you have to prove Paul Umbach wrong. First paragraph of his study:

    A common line of inquiry of the academic labor market is salary equity research. In the forty years since the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1964, researchers have attempted to assess salary equity among faculty members. Nearly all of these studies seek to identify the pay gap between men and women that cannot be explained by differences in faculty characteristics and institutional attributes. They find that even after controlling for education, productivity, experience, institution type, and academic discipline, women earn less than men (Barbazet, 2002; Barbezat, 1991; Bellas, 1993, 1994, 1997; Perna, 2001; Toutkoushian, 1998; Toutkoushian & Conley, 2005; Toutkousian, 1998). [emphasis added]

    Do you have a problem with the way people typically control for years of experience?

    And, p. 10:

    I first include a dummy-coded variable that represents whether the faculty member is a chairperson. I also include a series of dummy-coded variables to represent educational attainment and three measures of experience (years of seniority in current position, years teaching in higher education, and age).

    He then presents a long list of other things he controlled for, which includes all the obvious suspects. Thus narrowing down the range of possible whens and hows. And on p. 13:

    After controlling for human capital and disciplinary effects, women faculty earn approximately 10% less than their male counterparts (see column 2 of table 3).

    Your critique seems long on generic, largely inapplicable boilerplate, and short on specific criticisms of how the effect of past discrimination is controlled for in this study. How very typically antifeminist! ;)

  4. Lab Lemming wrote:

    “I first include a dummy-coded variable ”

    Yer tellin’ me? As you know, cheap shots and snide remarks are a core ingredient in any anti-*ist snark.

    As for his control on changing levels of prejudice, he doesn’t bother. His data set is a static, homogenous mass; there is no attempt to sub-divide it, to see if he gets the same co-efficients for segments of his population as he does for the whole.

    p.s. You should have been an immunologist

  5. criminy.crickets wrote:

    Fair criticism! But, given the number of studies that come to the same general conclusion re: controlling for experience, I’m not terribly worried.

    And, immunology – I’m sure it’s a terribly clever remark, but the intended connotative meaning of “immunology” is just whooshing over my head. Whoosh, whoosh.

  6. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Re Immunology.

    From the paper:

    31.3% female 68.8% male f. salary:$100,995 m salary: $78,852 diff: $22,143

    instead of being 14K behind, you’d be 22 ahead; 36,000 statistical dollars per year, just for switching disciplines!

  7. criminy.crickets wrote:

    If only I didn’t dislike biology so!

  8. Patriarch Verlch wrote:

    Do the women realize that women tend to work less hours. Therefore never in a million years, should they expect the same pay as men.

    Not only do men work more, I beleive they are built better suited for hard working enviroments. They can keep up a heavy pace, where women would tire out.

    This is communist in origin. Women garbage collectors demanding the same pay as lawyers. Doesn’t make the lawyer want to work very hard.

  9. criminy.crickets wrote:

    Patriarch, are you just a fly-by-night asshole? Or do you want a serious answer? If you come back, I’ll stop rolling my eyes and give you one, meanwhile I’m hooking up a little generator to my ocular muscles so I can power my laptop off of internet buffoons.

  10. Patrarch Verlch wrote:

    Ummm. Ok. The internet was invented be a man, so was your computer, your car, the airplane, and about 10 billion other things.

    So what was your point exactly?

    95% of on the job deaths are men, care to join us in the glass cellar darling?

  11. criminy.crickets wrote:

    My point was that you have made no attempt to engage with the actual topic of my post. Wandering on to a fresh new blog and posting random sexist drivel makes you an internet asshole or “troll”! My first real troll! Hoorah!


    I didn’t expect to see you again, but since I promised, here’s your serious response: if you bother to read the post, or the study it summarizes, you’ll see that the pay gap to which I refer has been adjusted to account for several measures of academic achievement which serve as decent proxy for “hours worked”. As Lab Lemming noted, you can quibble with the way the data were analyzed, but belligerently pointing out that men tend to work longer hours does not accomplish such a quibble.

  12. Mel wrote:

    I beleive they are built better suited for hard working enviroments. They can keep up a heavy pace, where women would tire out.


    Yes, let’s see men bear numerous children without any painkillers (most of whom will died before age 10), raise them almost singlehandedly, clean and cook, and work in the fields all day, as women have done for much of history. No, modern industrialized women don’t do that (although working two minimum wage unskilled labor jobs to support a family isn’t a picnic), but there’s no reason to suppose we magically got weaker in the last 100 years.

    Yes, it’s quite clear that women just don’t have any endurance.

    In sum: It’s nice for you that you “believe” that, Patriarch. There is no actual evidence for it.

  13. yami wrote:

    Mel, just a note: Verlch has written a couple more comments, which I deleted because they completely failed to engage with what I have to say. If you want to feed argue with the troll, rock on; I’ll let future comments through. But it’s probably a fool’s game.

  14. Patrarch Verlch wrote:

    98% of on the job deaths are male, how about some company ladies, in the glass cellar.

    90% of the time women get custody of children, women plays child support lotto, and garnishes 65% of ex a$$holes paycheck.

    Ladies, don’t forget alimiony until death that ex wives demand. I have worked for plenty of these women, they don’t usually hold a job well, or they are starting their own counsulting firm. All the while the ex husband is supporting them. Something you wouldnt’ expect from feminists such as yourselves.

    Women usually don’t work as much as men, usually 36 hrs a week to 50 or 60 hours for men. Men can carry more, farther and not tire out as quickly.

    I certainly hope men get paid even more in the future, with the knowledge that compaines are getting more bang for their buck with men.

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