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Quite a lengthy post, Goddess! Thanks for going to the effort ..
Helga Fremlin |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 7:28 pm | #

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"1. Men are better workers than women, on average.

2. Women want to work in jobs which pay less.

3. Women are treated unfairly at work."

How about:

4. Women, on average, enter the labor market later, take more breaks during peak earning years, and leave the labor market earlier than men.

I'm not advocating this; I don't even know if it's true; it's another possible factor, that's all.

And, although it makes for even more words, may I suggest that you make clear that we are talking about "on average." Even if most women are no less risk-averse than men, for example, a fairly small difference in the distribution of tolerance of risk between men and women may yield a significant difference in average wage-earning. There may be many commenters who will say, e.g., "I'm a bond trader- don't tell me women can't tolerate risk!" but the point is not individuals, it's distribution over a population.
JR |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 7:50 pm | #

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. Women, on average, enter the labor market later, take more breaks during peak earning years, and leave the labor market earlier than men.

This is partly included in number 1, to the extent that it affects work experience years in the past, and partly included in number two, the job flexibility thing. I had to make a choice between simple and complex language and I tried to go for the simple choices. This always misses something.

It is even partly in number 3, because if people believe your point to be true then they will discriminate against women, based on the average characteristics they assign.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 7:59 pm | #

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Your point about risk-aversion is a good one. But if certain jobs have a higher risk they should also have a lot of low earners. Or people should drop out a lot when they do poorly. After all, a high risk means that many will fail. I'm not sure how well this is taken into account in empirical work.

If you are talking about risk-aversion with respect to health risks and so on it's important to note that there are risky female jobs, too. Flight attendants is one group and convenience store clerks is another one. Laundry workers have high health care risks and housecleaning can be very hard on the body. But these jobs are not usually included in the lists of risky jobs. Prostitution is an extremely high-risk job in both health and safety terms, and predominantly female.

Your point is still a good one, though.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 8:03 pm | #

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PS- one explanation for the size of the gender gap in the US versus social welfare societies like Sweden and Australia may be that the US requires individual workers to assume much more risk. Losing your job here is much more traumatic than in most industrialized countries (you lose your health insurance, and unemployment insurance in the US is lousy) - so if women and men have even slightly different tolerances for risk on average, and if as between jobs requiring the same level of qualifications and effort the risky jobs pay more, you would expect to see a greater difference in the gender gap in the US, even without any difference in sex discrimination.

For example, leaving a government or university job to go to work for a start-up company exposes you to much more risk here in the US than it does in Australia. But in both countries the start-up holds out much more opportunity for rapid advancement. So, if sex discrimination is equal in the US and Australia, and if women on average are slightly more risk averse than men, you would expect a greater gender gap in the US than in Australia.

Again, I don't know if this really is a factor, or if any of these assumptions are true, but it's something you need to consider. (Maybe you've already done so.)
JR |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 8:08 pm | #

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"But if certain jobs have a higher risk they should also have a lot of low earners. Or people should drop out a lot when they do poorly. After all, a high risk means that many will fail. I'm not sure how well this is taken into account in empirical work."

In theory, people who take risky jobs earn a risk premium, such that the average compensation paid for risky jobs is greater than the average compensation paid for otherwise equivalent non-risky jobs, although the distribution of salaries over the non-risky jobs is much flatter than over the risky jobs.
JR |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 8:13 pm | #

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This is a really good discussion.
I would like to endorse the concept that women are paid less because of peer-sexism. In several jobs I have had, my boss has pacified my male peers for the trauma of working around a successful woman by making a point of paying me less (despite my acknowledged greater productivity). Since I am generally the only woman in my category, this approach provides a net benefit in terms of group morale.
worriedaboutthis |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 8:19 pm | #

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In theory, people who take risky jobs earn a risk premium, such that the average compensation paid for risky jobs is greater than the average compensation paid for otherwise equivalent non-risky jobs, although the distribution of salaries over the non-risky jobs is much flatter than over the risky jobs.

That is what I meant. The distribution should be fat and probably skewed as well. I'm not sure if that is tested in the studies.

The international gender gaps are not always in the direction that your theory suggests, though. Russia's case seems to me to be mostly sexism. Then there are some developing countries which have almost equal earnings, yet these countries have no safety net, really.

I suspect that the risk-aversion theory has some validity but doesn't affect enough jobs to account for most of the gap.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 8:26 pm | #

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worriedaboutthis, yes the idea that coworkers can discriminate is not brought out as much as it should be.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 8:26 pm | #

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Yes, I'm sure that the gender gap in Russia is primarily from sexism. Some countries have been through the 60's and 70's and others haven't (just like some have been through the Enlightenment and others haven't). Have you read Nuala O'Faolain's memoir, "Are You Somebody?" Her description of the difference between Ireland, where feminism arrived late, and England, where she emigrated to work at the BBC, is startling. But I tend to doubt that Australia is more free from sex discrimination than the US, and therefore I suspect that other factors may be work. ("Tend" and "suspect" = "I really don't have a clue").
JR |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 8:40 pm | #

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Damn. It's as if you've been taking us for spins in your little VW bug and now you're showing up in the Lamborghini.

I'm having to re-adjust my attention span.

Give me a few days.
Slothrop |   | Email | 01.19.06 - 8:47 pm | #

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But I tend to doubt that Australia is more free from sex discrimination than the US, and therefore I suspect that other factors may be work. ("Tend" and "suspect" = "I really don't have a clue").

Other factors are certainly at work. The laws in Australia are different, for one thing. I have a vague memory of reading that the government there pays its workers based on comparable worth, i.e., by defining the tasks in each job and by paying a certain amount per task. Comparable worth systems often raise women's earnings more than they raise men's earnings. But that is a different and equally long post...
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 8:47 pm | #

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JR: ...may I suggest that you make clear that we are talking about "on average." Even if most women are no less risk-averse than men, for example, a fairly small difference in the distribution of tolerance of risk between men and women may yield a significant difference in average wage-earning.

"Average" usually refers to either the mean or median of a population of samples. These are standard estimates of the "center" of a distribution.

I don't know what you're getting at when you say "Even if most women are no less risk-averse than men...", but if women are on average about as risk-averse as men then the distribution of the values of some measure of their risk-aversion would be centered on the same value as the men's disribution.

In other words, she shouldn't have to explain what "on average" means because everyone knows what it means.

You seem to attach a high premium on risk-aversion, which somehow makes sense for someone who doesn't know what "on average" means.
Riesz Fischer |   | 01.19.06 - 8:50 pm | #

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JR:
Good analysis. You hit most of the main points.
Tony |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 9:36 pm | #

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JR:
Good analysis. You hit most of the main points.


JR made some good points, true. But she or he didn't hit the main points. In fact, you can't even say what the main points are until you look at the empirical evidence which I am going to do in the next post.

And I warn you, Tony. This is my professional field we are talking about here.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 10:33 pm | #

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To clarify my previous post: differences in risk-aversion may exist between men and women, on average, but even if such differences exist they cannot explain much of the gender gap because most jobs that pay a lot are not in any sense especially risky.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 10:48 pm | #

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Um... In theory risky jobs pay a risk premium, but in practice? What's the evidence? Consider, e.g. the low pay in meat-packing plants, or on river barges: very risky jobs both. (Or am I missing the point about comparable jobs, here?)
Paul Lyon |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 11:25 pm | #

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Paul Lyon, there may be a risk premium for those jobs if we standardize for education levels of the workers or they might not be one. I haven't followed the literature on empirical estimates of risk premia for some time, but I remember that some studies found no risk premium and others found some. One reason why it might not exist in practice is that workers often don't know what the risks are they are taking. Think of asbestos workers.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 11:32 pm | #

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Riesz-
If we have two overlapping bell curves for risk aversion, with the centers slightly displaced, then it is a true statement that "most women" are no more risk averse than "most men," and it is also a true statement that "on average" women are more risk averse than men. That is, you can lop off the very end of the left-hand tail of the most risk-averse women, and lop off the very end of the right-hand tail of the most risk-seeking men, and get two equally-sized populations, comprising most of each group, with identical risk-aversion characteristics. But if you take the average of each population - that is, the mean- you will find that on average, men are slightly less risk-averse than women.

If this is true, then it means that our daily experience will lead us to believe that men and women are equally risk-averse. This is because in daily life we are exposed to a relatively small sample, and in that sample almost everyone we meet will fall into the "most men and women" area. So we will be led to discount the possibility that there are genuine gender differences regarding risk-aversion.

I am not saying that there are or are not such differences. I'm merely saying that if there are, we won't notice them unless they are very substantial.
JR |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 12:11 am | #

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PS- risk-aversion is just the possible gender difference that I happened to hit on as an example. There may be others. Our society, for example, tends to give large monetary rewards to aggressive people who like conflict and who don't much care about other people's feelings. Lawyers make more than social workers, surgeons make more than pediatricians, management consultants make more than bench scientists, cops make more than elementary school teachers.

Lots of men hate conflict and aggression, as do lots of women. But if it is the case that men, on average, tend to tolerate conflict better and enjoy aggression more than women, even if the difference is slight, then it may be that men, on average, will make more money than women -- even if the difference in behavior is so slight that we cannot detect it in our daily lives.

Again, I don't know if this is true. What I'm saying is that there are a great many possible explanations for gender-related differences in wages, and the ones that seem intuitively true may not be true.
JR |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 12:32 am | #

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Echidne, have you thought about comparing wages on Olympus? Does Athena settle for less than Ares, just because the gods get prickly about a well-paid competent woman? (Like worried's coworkers, andI wish her a better work environment)
Or is nepotism the defining factor there, with Apollo having solidarity with his sister, and Zeus favouring his special girl above Ares?
Samantha Vimes |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 12:38 am | #

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Riesz- sorry I can't seem to shut up tonight. But lopping off the tails isn't quite right. Just cross-hatch the overlapping areas of the two bell curves, and that will give you "most" men and women who have identical characteristics, even as the averages are different.
JR |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 12:50 am | #

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JR, good analysis. I now see what you're saying-- women may be statistically slightly more risk averse and even though most people wouldn't preceive it it could result in slightly lower pay for them.

But you seem to have pulled this idea about risk aversion out of thin air. Are there studies that show women are significantly more risk-averse?

And are there studies that show that riskier jobs pay more? You gave a few examples, but I could just as well point out that generals make more than privates and engineers make more than cops.

It just seems like you're grasping at straws when the reason women are paid less seems so obvious. A lot of people still think women should just stay home and do the dishes.

(Full disclosure: I have an extremely low opinion of the people who think that.)
Riesz Fischer |   | 01.20.06 - 7:30 am | #

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I just saw Paul Lyon's comment saying basically the same thing I did about risk premiums and Echidne answered:

I haven't followed the literature on empirical estimates of risk premia for some time, but I remember that some studies found no risk premium and others found some.

In other words it's small if it's there at all, and I just think it's a stretch.

C'mon, JR, surely you can come up with something better than that.
Riesz Fischer |   | 01.20.06 - 7:45 am | #

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Although I realize that risk can mean more than simply dangerous, the Alas, a blog wage gap series addressed the Myth: The Wage Gap is Caused by Menís Higher Pay for Dangerous Jobs.
AndiF |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 8:08 am | #

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An excellent start to this series, Echidne. You really are a much better writer of 'popular economics' or 'economics for non-economists' than you give yourself credit for in-post. (On the other hand, I'm an academic myself, and have a BA in polisci, so maybe I'm standards for a non-teachnical treatment are a bit higher than your average reader ...)

I'd really like to see some suggested reading at the end of this series. My brother is finishing up his BA in econ at a rather conservative college right now, and we've had some interesting arguments over the Xmas dinner table. It would be nice to have some progressive/feminist economic theory to bring to bear against his free market worship.
Noumena |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 9:47 am | #

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I agree with Noumena. Some bloggers' writing about economics makes my eyes cross, no matter how hard I try to understand it (and I had the basic macro and micro courses just a few years ago, too, and did well). But I found this quite digestible. And I really appreciate you writing it!
human |   | 01.20.06 - 11:58 am | #

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My observation (qualifications: just a person) is that, generally speaking, the riskiest jobs & industries pay *less*: meat-packing, prostitution, infantry, garbage-hauling, coal-mining, etc. I do not see a "risk premium" when I look around me, rather a "risk demenium": the physically riskiest jobs are taken largely by the desperate, who are willing to work for less.

I don't know if echidne is going to cover this in her later installments, but one possible motive for co-worker discrimination is economic: if men believe that traditionally-masculine jobs pay more, the presence of women doing those jobs is a threat to the "men-only" premia they expect to get.

Actually, I think that's only part of the story, I think more important is that working in a men-only job pays a psychological premium to men, because it validates their masculinity.
Doctor Science |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 12:43 pm | #

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"Our society, for example, tends to give large monetary rewards to aggressive people who like conflict and who don't much care about other people's feelings. Lawyers make more than social workers,"

This does nothing to explain the fact that women lawyers make less than male lawyers across the profession.

Also, the idea that being a lawyer is mostly about being aggressive and "take no prisoners" is becoming more and more outdated. Indeed, in the profession itself there is greater emphasis on alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation and facilitation, rather than litigation and handing people their asses at trial.

I've been a lawyer for a decade. In that time, it's been my experience that by and large -- with a few outliers -- the emphasis is on the lawyers getting along and conducting litigation in a mutually agreeable and cooperative atmosphere, not a take no prisoners, all out, balls to the wall battle.

Thus, while "aggression" (variously defined) matters, it's not the be-all and end-all of being a lawyer.

Lawyers get paid a lot because we know a lot. And because the legal profession is a monopoly, or something like that, where if you don't have the training you can't do it and you can't really fake it, either. So, we can charge a lot and get away with it.
Char |   | 01.20.06 - 12:55 pm | #

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Reisz- Oh, I don't know anything at all about the real reasons for the gender gap. What I'm saying is that the "obvious" reasons for any phenomenon can be false, because our personal experiences are not broad enough, representative enough, or detailed enough to perceive the actual patterns. If you want to know what is really going on, you need lots and lots of fine-grained data. Otherwise we often wind up just confirming our preconceived ideas.
JR |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 1:11 pm | #

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And I warn you, Tony. This is my professional field we are talking about here.

Then understand that many of the people who read your blog are not idiots. They will catch it if some facts are absent, are underplayed, or some statistics are spun in a creative way to promote an agenda.

You had better be warned. Your credibility will be on the line. Argumentum ad verecundium, in and of itself is still a fallacy.
Tony |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 1:47 pm | #

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This does nothing to explain the fact that women lawyers make less than male lawyers across the profession.

Are you factoring in the "mommy track" effect that many of the women will settle for less stressful (read that less lucritive) facets of law than the men? (For example, contract law as opposed to litigation).

There is also the fact that those women lawyers who have children many times needs to take time off for their kids, even if they have them in day care, so there is a "productivity" difference.

I'm not saying every woman falls into that category, and you may know actual anecdotal evidence of singular discrimination, but I believe enough do fall into the category to skew the numbers for this one profession substantially.
Tony |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 1:58 pm | #

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And I warn you, Tony. This is my professional field we are talking about here.

Then understand that many of the people who read your blog are not idiots. They will catch it if some facts are absent, are underplayed, or some statistics are spun in a creative way to promote an agenda.


Heh. How long a post did you want on this topic? I told that I was giving a very brief summary, and the theories I picked to discuss were the ones that have most support among economists, because they have most empirical support in research. Other theories do exist or at least small additional explanations exist, but they cannot account for widespread differences occurring in so many different places.

And if you read the post again you will notice a paragraph on the very risk thing, where I talk about dirtiness, riskiness etcetera of jobs. This is the theory post, not the empirical evidence post.

There is a big difference between our own private thoughts about some subject and what we can find out about it with research. None of us has the experience of the whole society and all of us have our own biases. Some of us understand this, some of us (Tony, I'm looking at you) believe that their own private beliefs are the truth and that everything else is an attempt to defraud.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 2:17 pm | #

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My observation (qualifications: just a person) is that, generally speaking, the riskiest jobs & industries pay *less*: meat-packing, prostitution, infantry, garbage-hauling, coal-mining, etc. I do not see a "risk premium" when I look around me, rather a "risk demenium": the physically riskiest jobs are taken largely by the desperate, who are willing to work for less.


The trick is to compare people who take on risky jobs with people who are exactly like them but don't take on the risky jobs. In other words, we want to whole constant things like education and job experience and where the person lives, because all these affect what opportunities the person has. Ideally, we'd like to clone the person and not have the other clone work in the same job, to see what the differences, if any, would be in earnings.

But this is not feasible, so the empirical studies use statistical methods to control for things like education and experience and the local job market state. That lets us see if the risky jobs pay more (the risk premium) or not.

For someone with no other options a risky job might pay a lot, in other words.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 2:54 pm | #

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"Are you factoring in the "mommy track" effect that many of the women will settle for less stressful (read that less lucritive) facets of law than the men? (For example, contract law as opposed to litigation)."

A) "lucrative" not "lucritive".

B) Contract law is *not* less lucrative than litigation. The pay-off in litigation has lots more to do with who's paying the bills (defendant v. plaintiff) than it does with the fact that it's litigation. Lots of plaintiff's litigation lawyers are scraping by. Lots of defendant's litigation lawyers are billing their corporate clients for papering the opposition to death.

C) Contract law is not "less stressful" than litigation, as fucking up a contract, which often has many parts, subparts, and lots of fine print, often means extended litigation drawing on centuries (yes, centuries) of legal opinions and statements of the law like the Uniform Commercial Code. And trying to decipher and apply *that* is a stress that one can hardly comment upon unless one has had occasion to do it with millions of dollars at stake.

D) Because you don't know what you're talking about, I have no more need to talk to you -- since I have, to my satisfaction, pointed out that you have no idea what you're talking about.
Anonymous |   | 01.20.06 - 3:00 pm | #

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"Risky jobs often pay less" has it backward. Low-paid jobs are often risky because low-skilled workers have little bargaining power with which to demand lower risk as a condition of employment. If you have no skills, you not only get paid less for harder work, you have to risk your life and health doing it. But this tells us nothing about whether there is a risk premium as between jobs that are equally available and equally skilled.
JR |   | Email | 01.20.06 - 3:07 pm | #

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JR, that is what the multiple regression analyses do: they control for the other qualifications of the workers and for the job market characteristics. To the extent they succeed in this, they answer the very question you pose: Do these jobs pay more than jobs that are otherwise the same but less risky in some sense.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 3:20 pm | #

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Then understand that many of the people who read your blog are not idiots. They will catch it if some facts are absent, are underplayed, or some statistics are spun in a creative way to promote an agenda.


But clearly a wingnut crank troll such as yourself doesn't have an agenda by posting annoying anti-woman comments on a feminist web site.

Echidne gave you fair warning that she can and will kick your ass and humiliate your ignoramus self. Naturally you're too dense to get it, or too smug in your assumed male superiority to take heed. But that's just as well for the rest of us who look forward to the forthcoming and most righteous smiting of Trolly Tony.

Or maybe you really get off on being humiliated by women. Maybe Catholic men secretly like strong women - something to do with worshipping Virgin Mary as a demi-god perhaps.

Well whatever the reason, a troll smackdown is always good sport.
Nancy |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 4:10 pm | #

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Thanks for your first in the economic series Echidne. And it's barely technical at all, so don't apologize for that. I thought this first installment was clear and as concise as such an unwieldy topic can be. I'm totally going to link to it.
Nancy |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 4:12 pm | #

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As a Libertarian (Neo-Libertarian Pragmatist, I suppose, or maybe a Progressive Conservative) - I love this so far.

There are those who think that by taking govermnemt's heavy thumb off the market scale, the market will therefore be free. But that is just ONE thumb, and likely not even the heaviest.

And of course that's why market regulation IS a large chunk of responsible government. In MY eyes, it means kneecapping* anyone who TRIES to put a thumb on the scale.

Your thoughts seem to lead to one inescapable conclusion; there is no such thing as a purely free market in which everyone can participate at equal advantage.

Indeed, if everyone was equal - there would be little to trade. :P

Finally - just as there are likely enough advantages given to risk-takers that are more often male, and enough reason on the part of the risk-averse, such as my own male self to accept lower direct compensation in return for more flex or security, these differences are valid and reasonable bases for trades in a market that is free of gender discrimination - could we find or create such a thing.

I firmly believe that if we did that, it would change both national and corporate culture for the better - and that, of course, is why it's resisted to the last ditch.

There ARE reasons why men fear women being in control, none of them are terribly pretty or flattering to our egos, but there you are. Of course, given the chance, no doubt women would screw things up about equally - but in quite different ways.

One thing I think should be admitted is that even when doing the same job, men and women come to it with distinctly different instincts and approaches - and smart management is to let the hot sax wail.

"Smart managment" of course, would have to exisit in a non-oxymoronic sense.

*By this, I mean, a gentle and suitable reproof. :P
graphictruth |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 5:22 pm | #

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One thing I think should be admitted is that even when doing the same job, men and women come to it with distinctly different instincts and approaches - and smart management is to let the hot sax wail.


Which "instincts?" Is that an evpsych code word?
Nancy |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 6:28 pm | #

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JR & Echidne, thank you for your explanations. They only reinforce my feeling that there's something fishy about the whole way this discussion (and economics in general, possibly) has talked about "risk-tolerance" (presumed to be masculine, part of the expected male role) and "risk-aversion" (feminine, part of the expected female role). All things being equal, riskier jobs are supposed to pay a premium, even though in reality low-wage jobs tend to be riskier.

Here's a hypothesis: *no-one* actually, consciously makes a trade-off between risk and pay. There is no true risk premium: we all want to stay alive. Men are not risk-tolerant, masculinity perceives fewer risks. Women are not risk-averse, femininity perceives more risks.

Example: the quintessential sex difference, sex. Women are (traditionally) more risk-averse than men when it comes to sex. But it's also the case that women are exposed to more risks, and that was even more the case for my great-grandmothers (2 of the 4 died of it) and before. Are women wary of risks? Or do women have more risks to be wary of?

Another example: men (especially young men) are said to take more risks as drivers, which is why their auto insurance rates are higher. But it looks as though each man perceives himself to be at lower risk, to be more than usually skillful, so he's not actually accepting or tolerating risk: he just doesn't see it or connect it with himself. He's not thinking, "I might die but that's OK," he thinks, "I won't die".

Speaking as a biologist, I don't think males are naturally or instinctively worse at evaluating risks than females are: evolution will pressure both sexes to be as accurate at risk-perception as possible. This is a culture thing: training boys to be self-confident and to rely on luck, training girls to see danger and consider consequences.

The basic falsity of the way economists talk about a "risk premium" can be seen in the CEOs who justify getting paid the obscene bucks by "we take the big risks". Please. A CEO who "takes risks" by firing people is not taking any meaningful risks unless each employees severance package includes a loaded rifle and directions to his house. His economic risks are not actual life risks.
Doctor Science |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 8:46 pm | #

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A great comment, Doctor Science. It sort of links to the whole economic question whether people perceive risks "correctly", correctly in quotes because it's not quite clear what people view as risks. The examples that come to mind are our fear of certain things out of proportion to the real probability of death, such as flying in an airplane that might crash as compared to driving a car that might crash, and our fears about new things (bird flu) rather than existing risks (dying in a road accident, again). Then there is the fear of pederasts killing your child which has been largely stoked by the media. The true number of murdering pederasts is quite small, and many more children die in asthma attacks. But nowadays one rarely sees a child playing outside unattended, even though the asthma risks are greater indoors.
Echidne of the snakes |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 9:17 pm | #

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Well whatever the reason, a troll smackdown is always good sport.

Then I'm sure you'll enjoy watching, won't you honey, between The Young and the Restless and Jerry Springer.
Tony |   | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 10:45 pm | #

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I will enjoy watching Goddess E dump a can of whoop-ass on your head, but I hope to participate as well, schnookums.

But you love it doncha? Admit it - you're a masochist. What's the Pope say about that anyway? I can't imagine he'd approve.
Nancy |   | Email | Homepage | 01.21.06 - 12:30 am | #

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Echidne -- I can definitely attest to the negative impacts of cultural steering on women. I know that the plural of anecdote isn't data, but how many anecdotes make a barefoot epidemiology?

In fact, I just delayed posting this comment by about an hour and a half, because I wandered off and wrote an enormous post on my LJ (which I'll probably crosspost to Slashdot; they need to see it) about my experiences with gendered career steering as someone who works in the IT field, albeit not in programming or systems administration. (I'm a technical writer, and isn't that too fraught for words?)
Interrobang |   | Email | Homepage | 01.21.06 - 6:05 am | #

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I will enjoy watching Goddess E dump a can of whoop-ass on your head, but I hope to participate as well, schnookums.

Sure, sweetie. When I have some questions about girl stuff, I'll be sure to ask you.
Tony |   | Email | Homepage | 01.21.06 - 5:37 pm | #

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Sure, sweetie. When I have some questions about girl stuff, I'll be sure to ask you.


Ah I see, afraid to discuss your problem - you love to be abused by women, but the Pope, who doesn't look too kindly on extra-marital kink, would be very displeased with you if he knew. So what kind of afterlife punishment awaits the kinky, Tony? I guess heaven is out, but I should think that hell would be a pretty harsh punishment for masochism (or maybe no punishment at all if you're a really hard-core masochist!) But then I've been out of the loop, Catholic-wise, for years, so you tell me.

Come on Tony, denial isn't just a river in Egypt.
Nancy |   | Email | Homepage | 01.22.06 - 2:35 pm | #

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The basic falsity of the way economists talk about a "risk premium" can be seen in the CEOs who justify getting paid the obscene bucks by "we take the big risks". Please. A CEO who "takes risks" by firing people is not taking any meaningful risks unless each employees severance package includes a loaded rifle and directions to his house. His economic risks are not actual life risks.~doctor science

Exactly. I mean, meat-packers risk losing a limb by a slip of the knife, farmers risk being mangled by farm equipment, cooks risk being burned or cut, house cleaners risk injury from chemicals, and on and on. These are not exactly high-paying jobs and the risk is with every job, on a daily basis.
A. Nonymuss |   | 01.23.06 - 8:12 am |