"Women today earn just 49 cents to the typical men’s dollar, much less than the 80 cents usually reported, according to a new study by economists Heidi I. Hartmann and Stephen J. Rose released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).
The study, Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap, uses the Panel Study on Income Dynamics, a longitudinal dataset to look at the gender earnings gaps between men and women in 15-year time spans. When measured by total earnings across the most recent 15 years for all workers who worked in at least one year, women workers faced a wage gap of 51 percent in the 2001-2015 period. The analysis also found that while the long-term earnings gap has narrowed significantly since 1968, progress has slowed in the last 15 years.
'Much ink has been spilled debating whether the commonly cited measure of the wage gap—that women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—is an exaggeration due to occupational differences or so-called ‘women’s choices,’ but our analysis finds that we have actually been underestimating the extent of pay inequality in the labor market,' said IWPR President and report co-author Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.
Stephen J. Rose, Ph.D., report co-author and nonresident fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute and a Research Professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, also commented, 'The good news is that, over the course of the nearly 50 years covered in the study, women have seen considerable progress in the labor force by entering the workforce at higher rates and staying in the labor force for longer periods of time, which have led to higher earnings and a narrower wage gap. As progress on achieving pay equity slows, it will be important to prioritize policies that strengthen women’s labor force attachment.'”