Women Who Make More

The first chapter of SuperFreakonomics, and a recent Q&A, addressed the pervasive male-female wage gap, but there does seem to be one subset of women who make more money than their male peers. “In 2008, single, childless women between ages 22 and 30 were earning more than their male counterparts in most U.S. cities, with incomes that were 8% greater on average, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data,” reports the Wall Street Journal. The gap is driven by factors like higher female college graduation rates, the increasing wage premium for college degrees, and disappearing jobs in male-dominated fields. Consistent with earlier findings, the data also indicate that “women tend to see wages stagnate or fall after they have children.” [%comments]

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team says:

    Having a baby WILL change your life–more for mothers than the fathers. It is not unreasonable that the whole wage discrepancy between men and women is due to PRIORITIES: CHILDREN COME FIRST. Everything else is a distant second, including gross income.

    Women who choose NOT to have children will progress just as fast as men up the career ladder. There are only 24 hours in a day…there is not time to have it all: Career, Young Children, Martha Stewart Homemaker, and a Romantic, Surprise-Filled Relationship.

    Denial is not just a River in Egypt.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Katy says:

    This may be one reason why so many women are choosing to delay childbearing. If your pay is going to stagnate once you have kids, best to bolster it as much as possible during what may be your highest earning potential years.


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Carl says:

    Inconsistent with all sociology and gender psych doctrines I was exposed to in college; consistent with my own observations. There is no more good ol’ boys club, certainly not widespread.

    Also note that women’s dedication to work and desire for career achievements may tend to “stagnate and fall” after having kids. This is often a willful choice on their part.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  4. Nathan says:

    I couldn’t tell from the article whether it was in comparision to all male peers in that age group or just childless ones. I’d bet men with child dependants (not just biologic children) earn more then men without.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  5. Nylund says:

    I totally thought you were going to say porn stars, strippers, or prostitutes. I’m pretty sure women make more than men in those occupations as well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  6. Michael says:

    All this study does is show that college degrees equal higher wages. It doesn’t compare apples-to-apples which would compare the wages of women to men at the same job with the same credentials and same level of education.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. Michael R. Keller says:

    Comparing the wages of people with different educations does not disprove the disadvantage women face in the workforce, it proves it!

    Saying that a college-educated woman’s wages should be compared with a male high-school dropout is ridiculous.

    You should be comparing people with identical backgrounds except for gender. And when you do that, women are still paid markedly less.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  8. Emily says:

    All of life requires making choices, and sometimes the choice is between raising children and advancing in a career. Not all choices are easy, fair or pleasant — for women and men, there are always opportunity costs involved. Is it wrong that a single man may be forced to choose between paying off student debts and working for a non-profit? If we expect society to allow women to “have it all,” shouldn’t we provide the same opportunities for men? The family/job debate seems to get special status because it is seen as discrimination against women, when to me it seems more like the consequences of a choice: the decision to raise children makes other decisions unavailable. I may *want* to have a high-powered job and five kids, but that’s not always an option, just as a man may want to be a stay-at-home dad without giving up a position as CEO.

    I am single and childless, and perfectly happy with the trade-off of not having kids. There is only so much time during the day, and I would resent a society that bent over backwards to provide me with options simply because I am a woman and thus somehow at the mercy of a so-called biological clock.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0