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Gender pay gap study using Uber: Male drivers make more per hour than female drivers
Old 02-10-2018, 03:17 AM   #1
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Gender pay gap study using Uber: Male drivers make more per hour than female drivers

A study analyzing gender pay gap using Uber data was recently published and it showed that male drivers made about 7% more per hour than female drivers. However, the reasons were not necessarily nefarious. The main reason (attributing to 50% of the difference) was that men drove slightly faster than women. That allowed men to pick up more rides in the same amount of time out on the road. The other reasons seemed to be impacted by gender choices like what time of day to work along with which trips to focus on and how many hours they drive which impacts experience and how quickly you learn which driving decisions (time out day, routes, etc) help generate the most income.

It's an interesting study because Uber has a lot of data that can be analyzed and the process is very gender blind.

I first heard about it on the Freakonomics podcast where they interviewed the people involved in the study but I suspect you'll be seeing a lot of articles about it because it's kind of a groundbreaking study.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:54 AM   #2
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“So, I think when you look at our data, I think it’s actually a mixture of preferences,” John List, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, chief economist at Uber, and a lead author on the study, told Freakonomics. “Driving fast. But I also think it’s a mixture of constraints, and what I mean by that is men work more hours and take more trips than the average woman. So, why is that? Part of it is because women have more constraints — i.e, take the kid to school in the morning. Be responsible for taking Johnny to the soccer game. And I think those constraints then lead women to actually receive less experience and less learning-by-doing. So I think it’s actually a mixture of preferences and constraints. Now as policy makers, what we want to do is make sure that we can alleviate those constraints as much as possible.”
https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16...ings-gap-study
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:23 AM   #3
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The women drivers I've had, seem to keep their cars cleaner. So I tip better. But the study wouldn't know that...
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:57 AM   #4
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I found that study interesting, too; I listened to the same podcast. While it was very valuable in the context of a job where there's truly equal pay for equal work (Uber has an algorithm for payments to the driver based on distance, location, peak vs. off-peak, etc. that apply to any driver), I think one of the differences in the typical corporate job is that "you get what you negotiate". Women, in general, don't negotiate as hard (see "Women Don't Ask", by Linda Babson). You sell yourself short early in your career and you may never catch up since most HR departments insist on knowing your previous compensation before making an offer. I had one prospective employer make me sign a form stating that if they hired me and found out that I'd lied they could fire me. I swear it fell apart because I told the HR lady that I worked for a small consulting firm and my compensation was a percentage of what I billed and collected. She asked repeatedly what would be on my W-2 for that year. I couldn't tell her, of course.

Fortunately, there are now efforts to make such inquiries illegal, which should help pay equity.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
The women drivers I've had, seem to keep their cars cleaner. So I tip better. But the study wouldn't know that...
The podcast did cover this and also mentioned that studies show that females in restaurants get better tips than their male counterparts.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by YVRRocketSurgery View Post
A study analyzing gender pay gap using Uber data was recently published and it showed that male drivers made about 7% more per hour than female drivers. However, the reasons were not necessarily nefarious. The main reason (attributing to 50% of the difference) was that men drove slightly faster than women. That allowed men to pick up more rides in the same amount of time out on the road. The other reasons seemed to be impacted by gender choices like what time of day to work along with which trips to focus on and how many hours they drive which impacts experience and how quickly you learn which driving decisions (time out day, routes, etc) help generate the most income.

It's an interesting study because Uber has a lot of data that can be analyzed and the process is very gender blind.

I first heard about it on the Freakonomics podcast where they interviewed the people involved in the study but I suspect you'll be seeing a lot of articles about it because it's kind of a groundbreaking study.
So there is no pay gap. The men were just more efficient and worked for the shift differentials.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:08 AM   #7
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The women drivers I've had, seem to keep their cars cleaner. So I tip better. But the study wouldn't know that...
Why not?
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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So there is no pay gap. The men were just more efficient and worked for the shift differentials.
That's pretty much what they concluded. As I noted earlier, it's more complicated with typical corporate jobs. I'm all for equal pay for equal work but that's very hard to legislate. There are variables such as willingness to travel, to work longer hours, "boardroom presence" (ability to express yourself clearly and concisely at a level of complexity appropriate to the audience) that can't be measured by box-ticking exercises.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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... I think one of the differences in the typical corporate job is that "you get what you negotiate". Women, in general, don't negotiate as hard (see "Women Don't Ask", by Linda Babson). ...
I've heard comments like this from others promoting "equal pay" for women, and I find it troubling.

Are you actually telling me that women are not as good as men at some important tasks such as negotiating? Negotiating skills are an important aspect of many jobs, especially high level, high paying ones. Even if you re not directly involved in negotiations (contracts, purchasing, etc), you likely need to "negotiate" to "sell" your ideas. As an engineer, I definitely had to "sell" my ideas to my boss, and there were negotiations as a part of this.

I personally would not make any such claim about women, I find it insulting. I know women whose entire job is based on negotiation (purchasing) - and they do it well. I don't get this, it sounds like the very definition of misogyny, coming from those who claim to be the victims (or defenders of the victims) of misogyny!

And if you are truly to believe that women don't negotiate as well as men, then why should they be paid equal to men? It's a contradiction, isn't it?

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Old 02-10-2018, 10:46 AM   #10
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I've heard comments like this from others promoting "equal pay" for women, and I find it troubling.

<snip>And if you are truly to believe that women don't negotiate as well as men, then why should they be paid equal to men? It's a contradiction, isn't it?

-ERD50
I'm generalizing, of course. I have a niece who hit the $100K mark before she turned 30 by changing jobs a few times. I don't think she has any problems negotiating! That's why I mentioned Babson's book- she thought it was widespread enough to write a book about it.

And yes, negotiation is an important skill, although I don't think I needed it as much to succeed in my job as I did to get higher compensation. Certainly I'd add that skill to the list of factors that are hard to measure but a vital factor in pay differences for some jobs. My son is a claims adjuster and thrives on negotiation- in fact he just took a new job and is excited because it involves dealing with litigated claims. In this case, the apple fell quite far from the tree.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ERD50
I've heard comments like this from others promoting "equal pay" for women, and I find it troubling.

<snip>And if you are truly to believe that women don't negotiate as well as men, then why should they be paid equal to men? It's a contradiction, isn't it?

-ERD50
I'm generalizing, of course. ...
But the statistics that people use to try to make those points are generalizing as well.

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Old 02-10-2018, 12:32 PM   #12
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That's pretty much what they concluded. As I noted earlier, it's more complicated with typical corporate jobs. I'm all for equal pay for equal work but that's very hard to legislate. There are variables such as willingness to travel, to work longer hours, "boardroom presence" (ability to express yourself clearly and concisely at a level of complexity appropriate to the audience) that can't be measured by box-ticking exercises.
The issue is that no two people are alike. The Military has it figured out. There are no differences in pay between women and men. All rank X, with Y number of years in grade, and Z number of years in service, receive the same pay.

Unions have also figured it out.

The private sector is still focused on productivity.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:42 PM   #13
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The OP says "It's an interesting study because Uber has a lot of data that can be analyzed." I tip in cash, so unless the study also looked at drivers' W2s, it would not have recent tip data (The Uber app that allows for tips is relatively recent, I believe, and I haven't used it).

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Old 02-10-2018, 12:47 PM   #14
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Even in the government world, where everyone is paid on a publicly-available scale, it's important to know how to "sell yourself" to get your next promotion.

When I sat on promotion boards, it was eye-opening to see how men wrote up accomplishments in jobs that I had either held myself, or was very familiar with (and also with those men's work in those jobs). They typically patted themselves loudly on the back for every little thing, whereas I always wrote myself up in a very straight-forward way.

A promotion board member, who was not as familiar as I was with the person or his work, could be fooled into thinking that person, who puffed himself up, truly had accomplished great things.

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I found that study interesting, too; I listened to the same podcast. While it was very valuable in the context of a job where there's truly equal pay for equal work (Uber has an algorithm for payments to the driver based on distance, location, peak vs. off-peak, etc. that apply to any driver), I think one of the differences in the typical corporate job is that "you get what you negotiate". Women, in general, don't negotiate as hard (see "Women Don't Ask", by Linda Babson). You sell yourself short early in your career and you may never catch up since most HR departments insist on knowing your previous compensation before making an offer. I had one prospective employer make me sign a form stating that if they hired me and found out that I'd lied they could fire me. I swear it fell apart because I told the HR lady that I worked for a small consulting firm and my compensation was a percentage of what I billed and collected. She asked repeatedly what would be on my W-2 for that year. I couldn't tell her, of course.

Fortunately, there are now efforts to make such inquiries illegal, which should help pay equity.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:06 PM   #15
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The problem with that logic is that it drives all of society towards a goal that is shaped by the acquisition of wealth and power. That's contrary to the intention of the founding of our nation, which was to have a society shaped by the practice of character and the striving for principals such as liberty and justice for all. Many people pay lip service to concerns about how they're treated by big businesses and by big government, and concerns about commercialism, the failed to see how their support for a system that is so much driven by the acquisition of wealth and power brings those maladies about and gives them even more and more influence over the way things are. By contrast, a system that gave equal weight to the contributions one might make towards profit and the contributions one might make toward principals would reflect a much more balanced approach.

As long as all people care about is how much money is made then everything in society is going to be driven toward what makes more money. What we need as a society is to come to the realization that people can "accomplish great things" without it necessarily resulting in the generation of wealth specifically, and consequently society should be rewarding people equally for acquisition of wealth AND achievement of others types of "great things".
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:45 PM   #16
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Curmudgeon here. What I know about compensation is:
(a) If I advertise a job and do not get enough qualified applicants, I am not paying enough.

(b) If I advertise a job and get buried in qualified applicants, I am paying too much. From what I read, most government jobs are in this category.

(c) My goal is to offer pay that will get me an adequate pool of qualified applicants. Like Goldilocks, not too hot and not too cold.

(d) From my pool of qualified applicants I try to select the best person, considering what I will have to pay him or her. If my choice doesn't like the pay offer, he or she is free to reject it or to open negotiations.
There is a reason they call the job market the job market.
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Old 02-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #17
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The OP says "It's an interesting study because Uber has a lot of data that can be analyzed." I tip in cash, so unless the study also looked at drivers' W2s, it would not have recent tip data (The Uber app that allows for tips is relatively recent, I believe, and I haven't used it).
Incomplete data - that is, data that leaves out relevant facts - isn't worth trying to analyze.
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