2009 May 30 Saturday
Medicine Best Occupation For Female Part Time Workers

Women in finance suffer the biggest decline in earnings from taking time off to raise kids. The medical profession gives women far better conditions in which to make babies and raise them.

One set of statistics neatly summarizes the findings. After surveying Harvard College alumni 15 years after graduation, Ms. Goldin and Mr. Katz estimated the average financial penalty for someone who had taken a year and a half off and then returned to work. In medicine, that person earned 16 percent less than a similar doctor who had not taken time off. Among people with no graduate degree, the gap was 25 percent. For both lawyers and Ph.D.ís, it was about 29 percent.

For M.B.A.ís, a group dominated by finance workers and consultants, it was 41 percent. Given how much money many make, they can probably do just fine even after such a pay cut. Yet the size of it suggests that time off puts them on a completely different career track.

I'm not surprised by these results. In high finance winning is more all or nothing and big deals get put together or not. With medicine the units of work are smaller and less intertwined with each other. Each patient does not take that much time. What you do for one patient is unknown to most of the other patients you deal with. Medicine is many smaller transactions which are less related to each other.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 May 30 10:47 PM  Economics Labor


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