Harvard University researchers Valentin Bolotnyy and Natalia Emanuel have published a new study of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that could give us the best argument yet against the left-wing, feminist myth of the gender wage gap. In their groundbreaking work, the researchers found that while they did indeed find a wage disparity between men and women at the MBTA, this could be wholly explained by real-world factors that have absolutely nothing to do with sexism, either individually speaking or institutionalized.
“Female workers earn $0.89 on the male-worker dollar,” at the MBTA, reported the researchers in their paper. “The weekly earnings gap can be explained by the workplace choices that women and men make.”
In the abstract, Bolotnny and Emanuel explain how this disparity comes to be:
Women value time away from work and flexibility more than men, taking more unpaid time off using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and working fewer overtime hours than men. When overtime hours are scheduled three months in advance, men and women work a similar number of hours; but when those hours are offered at the last minute, men work nearly twice as many. When selecting work schedules, women try to avoid weekend, holiday, and split shifts more than men.
To avoid unfavorable work times, women prioritize their schedules over route safety and select routes with a higher probability of accidents. Women are less likely than men to game the scheduling system by trading off work hours at regular wages for overtime hours at premium wages.
This has been one of the prime arguments against the gender wage gap myth for years, but this is one of the first times we have such a closely-controlled study to bear out the truth. The fact is that, yes, women do make less than men for working the same jobs.
But this gap is not explained by sexism or the boys’ club or any other nonsense factor that would give Democrats an excuse to go in an exert governmental control over the free market. No, it is explained by the fact that women – as a whole, not on an individual level, of course – simply make different career decisions. And when this unfolds over the course of a lifetime, it takes an inevitable toll on their earnings potential.
Alas, neither this study nor any other will ever kill off this myth of gender discrimination in the American workplace. It is too well-entrenched in the media and it is far too powerful a political weapon for the Democrats to ever abandon. As long as the raw figures are there, this will continue to be a phantom sword used by the left to drum up voter enthusiasm and, when they have the opportunity, to “fix” the problem with new, unnecessary, growth-killing regulations and laws.