Male/Female Wage gap from Census Current Population Survey

We loaded the March 2014 U.S. Census Current Population Survey into a MySQL database for our students at MIT. In showing them how painful it is to calculate medians in standard SQL we discovered a larger-than-expected female/male wage gap. We limited our results to young people, age 22-36. They all had the same level of education: a Bachelor’s degree (no more, no less).  They all worked at least 30 hours per week. Within the sample, men generally worked 2-6 hours more per week (e.g., 44 hours versus 40). We’re going to make the virtual machine available, probably from the Three-Day RDBMS course page if you want to poke around in the data (you can try right now from the Day 1 problems). Note that we started with a CSV file from the National Bureau of Economic Research. I’ve seen various statistics on male/female wage gaps. Supposedly the trend is that when corrected for working hours, years in the work force, education, etc., there isn’t much of a gap. This is as you’d expect from classical economics. If women were truly cheaper to employ, adjusted for skills and productivity, Target could put Walmart out of business simply by hiring only women. How does the theory translate into practice?

CPS F CPS M Cents/Dollar
Alabama $ 40,000 $ 47,000 85
Alaska $ 43,600 $ 50,000 87
Arizona $ 30,000 $ 50,000 60
Arkansas $ 42,000 $ 57,000 74
California $ 40,000 $ 55,000 73
Colorado $ 41,600 $ 45,000 92
Connecticut $ 35,000 $ 60,000 58
Delaware $ 46,000 $ 40,000 115
District of Columbia $ 47,000 $ 55,000 85
Florida $ 40,000 $ 50,000 80
Georgia $ 38,000 $ 43,004 88
Hawaii $ 43,000 $ 45,000 96
Idaho $ 31,000 $ 53,000 58
Illinois $ 40,000 $ 50,000 80
Indiana $ 35,000 $ 43,680 80
Iowa $ 38,000 $ 67,000 57
Kansas $ 46,000 $ 50,000 92
Kentucky $ 40,000 $ 45,000 89
Louisiana $ 32,828 $ 63,000 52
Maine $ 28,000 $ 46,500 60
Maryland $ 37,000 $ 51,000 73
Massachusetts $ 35,000 $ 45,000 78
Michigan $ 37,000 $ 60,000 62
Minnesota $ 45,000 $ 58,000 78
Mississippi $ 25,000 $ 38,670 65
Missouri $ 40,000 $ 50,000 80
Montana $ 28,000 $ 40,000 70
Nebraska $ 36,000 $ 50,000 72
Nevada $ 38,000 $ 50,000 76
New Hampshire $ 42,000 $ 60,000 70
New Jersey $ 43,000 $ 53,000 81
New Mexico $ 35,000 $ 40,000 88
New York $ 47,000 $ 53,000 89
North Carolina $ 37,000 $ 36,000 103
North Dakota $ 35,000 $ 39,000 90
Ohio $ 40,000 $ 45,000 89
Oklahoma $ 30,000 $ 40,000 75
Oregon $ 30,000 $ 43,700 69
Pennsylvania $ 40,000 $ 50,000 80
Rhode Island $ 40,000 $ 60,000 67
South Carolina $ 34,000 $ 50,000 68
South Dakota $ 38,000 $ 50,000 76
Tennessee $ 37,000 $ 42,000 88
Texas $ 41,400 $ 50,000 83
Utah $ 40,000 $ 62,500 64
Vermont $ 38,000 $ 45,000 84
Virginia $ 40,000 $ 74,000 54
Washington $ 41,804 $ 55,000 76
West Virginia $ 28,000 $ 60,000 47
Wisconsin $ 48,000 $ 45,000 107
Wyoming $ 40,000 $ 55,000 73
average 77

Note that the sample size is fairly small for the CPS. There are 224 women in California in our restricted sample and 210 men, for example. So that could account for a fair amount of variance but I don’t think it can explain the overall pattern.

Related:

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

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