Phi Beta Cons

The Faculty “Pay Gap”

A hardy perennial among egalitarians is the supposed existence of “pay gaps”

between different population groups. Since academe is heavily populated

with egalitarians, it’s no surprise that pay gaps between groups of faculty

should be a frequently discussed topic.
Here is an article about a professor’s findings. After adjusting for a number of factors that would

explain why men might have higher earnings than women, he concludes that

there is an unexplained gap of — drumroll — 6.8 percent. The researcher is

quoted as saying, “It’s still substantial and it’s still unexplained.”

Naturally, the writer of the article smuggles in the notion that the

unexplained difference could be due to “gender bias.” If something is

unexplained, there is no reason to assume that there must be some “bad”

explanation for it, but that is standard operating procedure for

egalitarians. It gives them causes.
I fail to see why anyone should care about this. If each individual faculty

member is employed under mutually acceptable terms, why is there some

problem because, in the aggregate, we don’t have perfect equality of

compensation among all population groups?

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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