The Corner

Economy & Business

Gender Commute Gap — Another Reason Why Men Earn More

Americans hear a lot about the wage gap, and how women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Countless studies and commentaries have pointed out how misleading this statistic is. It doesn’t compare two similarly situated coworkers, but just working men and women overall, while failing to account for numerous factors that impact how much someone earns, such as their industry and years of experience. Overall, full-time working men work longer hours and often in worse conditions (suffering the overwhelming majority of workplace injuries and fatalities) than women do, which is one of the reasons they end up earning more.

AEI’s Mark Perry highlights another gap that undoubtedly contributes to the discrepancy in earnings. He calls it the “gender commute time gap,” or the difference between how much time men and women spend traveling to their jobs.  On average, American men spend 23 percent longer commuting than women do, which adds up to a lot of lost leisure and lost life each year. 

Why do men commute more? Part of the reason is likely that they place a higher priority in maximizing income, so are willing to travel farther to a job that pays more, while women would rather commute less and will accept lower pay in exchange for a shorter commute. 

I’m sure radical feminists can turn this around as more evidence of sexism against women: Women are more tied to the home, they’ll say, and can’t commute as much because of the burdens of children and family. We can endlessly debate the extent to which women and men assume different roles in society because of nature or nurture, and how much of a role sexism plays in leading to these outcomes. However, the decisions made by individuals on where and how much to work play a big role in how much someone earns. This commuter gap is an important missing piece in understanding the real causes of the “wage gap” statistic, which fails to compare two similarly situated workers, and therefore tells us nothing about sexism’s role in the workplace. 

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

Most Popular

Immigration

Angela Rye Knows You’re Racist

The political philosopher Michael Oakeshott said that the “rationalist” is hopelessly lost in ideology, captivated by the world of self-contained coherence he has woven from strands of human experience. He concocts a narrative about narratives, a story about stories, and adheres to the “large outline which ... Read More
Immigration

What the Viral Border-Patrol Video Leaves Out

In an attempt to justify Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s absurd comparison of American detention facilities to Holocaust-era concentration camps, many figures within the media have shared a viral video clip of a legal hearing in which a Department of Justice attorney debates a panel of judges as to what constitutes ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More