As a female who used to have a job that paid pretty decently, I couldn’t help but find this article in the NYT interesting. Granted, the article doesn’t really bring up a new idea- it talks about the social awkwardness and frustration that can result from situations where women have higher earning power- but it’s a concept that is becoming more prevalent over time as women become increasingly career-focused and (financially) successful.
From an economic perspective, what I really found notable was the following set of statistics:
“For the first time, women in their 20s who work full time in several American cities — New York, Chicago, Boston and Minneapolis — are earning higher wages than men in the same age range, according to a recent analysis of 2005 census data by Andrew Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College in New York.
For instance, the median income of women age 21 to 30 in New York who are employed full time was 17 percent higher than that of comparable men.
Professor Beveridge said the gap is largely driven by a gulf in education: 53 percent of women employed full time in their 20s were college graduates, compared with 38 percent of men. Women are also more likely to have graduate degrees. `They have more of everything,’ Professor Beveridge said.”
P.S. Okay, I wasn’t going to get further into this, but I couldn’t resist. The current trend, as alluded to in the above quote, is for women on average to be more educated than men in the same age bracket. This is a recent phenomenon, so it applies mostly to current 20-somethings and young 30-somethings. I hope that there will be a (continuing) change in family structure that goes along with this education trend, since it is not an efficient use of educational resources for the more educated women to drop out of the work force in order to raise children. People are entitled to their preferences of course, but the employment issue becomes relevant when one considers that university education is subsidized by various parties, including the government, in the form of financial aid.