Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators

Abstract

Female workers earn $0.89 for each male-worker dollar even in a unionized workplace where tasks, wages, and promotion schedules are identical for men and women by design. We use administrative time card data on bus and train operators to show that the earnings gap can be explained by female operators taking, on average, 1.5 fewer hours of overtime and 1.3 more hours of unpaid time-off per week than male operators. Female operators, especially those who have dependents, pursue schedule conventionality, predictability, and controllability more than male operators. Analyzing two policy changes, we demonstrate that while reducing schedule controllability can reduce the earnings gap, it can also make workers—particularly female workers—worse off.

Publication
Working Paper

Press:

“Parsing the Gender Pay Gap”The Wall Street Journal

“The Roots of the Gender Pay Gap are Deeper than Discrimination”Quartz