The Corner

Politics & Policy

Another Reason Men Earn More: How Far They Go For Their First Job

Women and men make different choices about the number of hours to work (even when working full time), industries, specialties, physical risks to take on, and how much time to take off.

Those are the factors that we mostly hear about when people explain the wage gap statistic that consistently shows that men, on average, still earn more than women do. This new study adds another factor to the mix, how far men and women move for their first job:

We used data from more than 115,000 resumes — 54,000 women and 61,000 men — and found that on average women move 318 miles from their college for their first jobs, while men move 370 miles….

According the Census data, this larger search area brings in an additional 3,873,908 jobs total…

Access to more job possibilities means that men also have the potential to find higher paying options. It’s another reason that men end up earning more than women do.

This study is similar to one I wrote about here on working men having longer commutes, on average, than women do. Once again, it shows men tend to be willing to take on big burdens—longer drives and moves—in order to increase their pay.

Different societal expectations for the sexes may explain why women and men make these different choices. Certainly, working women may feel they can’t take on longer commutes because their assume the bulk of family responsibilities. Similarly, young women may feel that a longer move away from college (and potentially from home and family) would be considered unacceptable.

Yet this research and new factor to consider still chips away at the suggestion that workplace discrimination is the root cause of the wage gap. This is important information for young women to have. If earning more is the goal, they ought to consider expanding a job search to include new cities. That’s far more actionable advice than the Left’s focus of blaming intractable sexism for the wage gap.

Carrie Lukas is the president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

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