Without Discrimination, the Gender Pay Gap at Uber Is Only 7 Percent

Laura Dale/PA Wire via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

A new paper with access to Uber’s massive database of driver records concludes that female drivers earn 7 percent less than male drivers. Why? Mostly because women drive more slowly than men.

There are a couple of other factors as well that are tied to experience, and that’s interesting enough by itself. But the authors call their result “surprising,” and I think that’s the wrong conclusion. The proper conclusion is that in a job that pays via algorithm and has no special rewards for working long hours, the gender gap is only 7 percent. That’s what you get when there’s no opportunity for discrimination.

In the rest of the world, of course, the gender pay gap is about 19 percent. The usual estimate is that less than a third of this is due to outright discrimination, but the Uber data suggests that it might be more than we think. Perhaps it’s more like 12 percentage points from discrimination and, like Uber, about 7 percentage points from other causes. Food for thought.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate