‘Equal pay for equal work’ isn’t so simple
Boston Globe - 01/26/2015
Last Tuesday, President Obama’s State of the Union address reiterated the statistic that working women in the United States “make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns” and went on to call for “equal pay for equal work.” Obama was promoting the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require employers to prove that any wage disparity is based on differences in skill, background, or other relevant traits — rather than on gender.
It’s hard to argue that gender equality and fair pay aren’t laudable goals. Less clear, though, is whether the legislation on offer would actually address the root cause of gender pay disparity. Luckily, science can help answer that.