Economist Examines the Trend in the Gender Wage Gap

A study by Catherine J. Weinberger, an economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, finds that the gender gap in earnings begins at the early stages of the careers of men and women and the gap stays constant as they get older and move up the career ladder. Weinberger examined salary data for a large group of women over a 10-year period from 1989 to 1999.

Dr. Weinberger states, “All the [economic] models say that women fall behind men in terms of salary, and, as they get older, they get farther behind. But that’s not the case. And it goes against everything I was expecting to find when I started looking at the data.”

Furthermore, Weinberger’s data shows that motherhood had no effect on salary levels. She found: “Within the group that I followed over a period of time, some were mothers from the beginning, others had children along the way, and others didn’t have children at all. I’m finding that for all three of these groups, their growth in salary over time is the same. Some theories suggest that as women become mothers, they take time off and fall farther behind, and the disadvantage to motherhood persists over time. But the data is showing that’s not the case.”

Dr. Weinberger is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. She holds a master’s degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply