« Your World in Charts: "It's The System, Stupid" Edition | Main | Rudy and "Socialized Medicine" »

October 29, 2007

The Gender Gap

Is the gender gap reversing? Dani Rodrik publishes some charts, graphs, and facts that suggests it just may be.

October 29, 2007 | Permalink


The gender gap is about much more than levels of education and literacy, especially in developed countries where literacy is more or less a given.

The real question is, what happens to all those women with their advanced degrees when they hit the workforce? Are they still being paid less than men? Are they getting equal opportunities in hiring, promotion, etc?

Posted by: lux | Oct 29, 2007 2:26:57 PM

I hope it is. It's clear from your post that you need to develop some literacy skills.

Posted by: jerry | Oct 29, 2007 2:29:00 PM

I'm not sure whether enrollment in college by young women is necessarily a sign of decreasing sexism. Indeed, it can be quite the opposite.

Maybe your father has a different take on this (seeing things from a perspective of professorial objectivity and distance), but from what I remember of UC Irvine, a lot of the daughters of immigrant families were being sent to college to find the right kind of husband while those same families kept their sons closer to home so they could work on the family business. Of course, the obvious hillarious results occured due to the fact that "the right kind of husband" didn't exist as all the men acceptable on the basis of origin were being kept at home by their parents and hence not acceptable on the basis of educational goals.

But anyway, just because families are sending their daughters to school, perhaps even at a higher rate than they send their sons, doesn't mean the situation still ain't sexist.

Posted by: DAS | Oct 29, 2007 4:44:02 PM

My understanding of the gender gap is that it refers to income. In that respect, that gap seems to be virtually unchanged over the past several years according to many other sources. Not only are male dominated jobs usually paid at a higher rate, but women still generally earn less at the same jobs than men are. And then we have the glass ceiling.

While it may be that women are gaining ground towards equality, these charts to not address that issue at all.

Posted by: bob in fla | Oct 29, 2007 7:43:01 PM

We are certainly inching towards gender parity in some arenas; I co-wrote a recently published paper on this re: scientists at the academic-industry boundary and how gender inequity in opportunity and participation has shrunk over three decades. But we also were able to uncover the mechanisms that inhibit that parity and perpetuate inequality:


Furthermore, many more women are in different academic and occupational pipelines (e.g., academic science, medicine) than men these days, in the U.S. and elsewhere, but that does not translate into equality of opportunity (as another commenter already pointed out).

There was a great article in September or October's Hvd Biz Rev. that described the "labyrinth" (v. the "glass ceiling") for women to get through in order to achieve business success comparable to men's:


Posted by: Redstar | Oct 29, 2007 10:01:53 PM

Anyone who actually looked at the gender gap (and the gender pay gap) by age cohorts would see that it is closing at an astonishing speed. In the UK, for example, for people in their 20s, the gender pay gap is now 4%.
Whatever it was that we needed to do to close it (like, stop discriminating against women was a good idea) we've pretty much done it.
What we have left is a pay gap between women who have children and men (and women who don't have children).
That's a much tougher nut to crack, even if we actually wanted to.

Posted by: Tim Worstall | Oct 30, 2007 7:32:35 AM

Is the gender gap reversing? Dani Rodrik publishes some charts, graphs, and facts that suggests it just may be.

This is bad news for what passes today for 'feminists'. Reports like these make their life's work less meaningful and, if this keeps up, they will have to find some other issue to bitch about.

Posted by: El Viajero | Oct 30, 2007 10:42:32 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.