The Gender Pay Gap with Dr Leonora Risse – latest Economics Explained episode

My latest Economics Explained episode on the Gender Pay Gap is now available. My guest this episode is Dr Leonora Risse, who is currently a fellow in the Women and Public Policy program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to taking up her Kennedy School fellowship this year, Leonora was a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Use these timestamps to jump right into my conversation with Leonora:

  • 1:53 – size of the gender pay gap
  • 4:41 – gender pay gap partly due to women and men being concentrated in different industries, but partly to do with women not progressing up the career ladder as quickly as men do
  • 8:47 – how some policy settings (e.g. means-testing of child care benefits) can create high effective marginal tax rates for women and discourage them from returning to the workforce or working more hours
  • 12:16 – men get rewarded for being confident and ambitious, but women don’t – what does this mean regarding all those self-help books by Sheryl Sandberg, Marie Forleo, etc.?
  • 17:57 – women won’t go for a new job unless they feel they meet 100% of the criteria while men will if they think they meet 60%
  • 26:58 – impact of big 5 personality traits (e.g. agreeableness, conscientiousness, etc.) on gender pay gap
  • 40:59 – whether there are barriers to women moving into male-dominated industries (e.g. mining, economics & finance)
  • 43:07 – I ask Leonora whether gender pay gap will naturally close over time due to higher tertiary enrolments among women than men and Leonora responds “…even though a higher share of women compared to men to achieve these educational qualifications, they still tend to be concentrated in fields of study that are associated with lower pay.”
  • 48:36 – what the Australian Women in Economics Network (WEN) has been up to, and why we should try to avoid “manels”, all male panels of speakers

Leonora has kindly provided the following supplementary information on her gender pay gap research to help listeners understand her findings:

Supplementary analysis of gender pay gap

Earlier this year, Leonora recorded a podcast interview on the gender pay gap for the Economic Society of Australia (Victoria):

Does confidence advance women’s careers?

Also, you may be interested in Leonora’s Mandarin article:

Rewarding competence not confidence offers a step toward equality

And if you’re interested in what the Australian Women in Economics Network has been doing to promote a career in economics to women, check out this video:

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