Email, Lloyd Potter, state demographer, March 13, 2014
Using median income for full-time employment in Texas this would be a close to accurate statement (81 cents according to the table you provided). Average income would be another indicator that might make the difference more significant but a bit more difficult to interpret as a small number of very high earners could pull the average up. The other issue is when you look at labor force participation, women have a lower rate than men and are more likely to be employed part-time. Part-time employment is not included in the estimated sex difference in earnings. If it were, or if we just looked at part-time workers, again, you’d probably find women earn less.
Finally, the differential quoted probably is not adjusted for educational attainment or work experience. If it were, we’d probably find the differential would shrink (toward equality) as women tend to have less work experience than men though educational attainment is fairly comparable among adults across sex.
From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:51 PM
Subject: Seeking guidance for a fact check
Dr. Potter, Dr. Greenfield:
For our check of this Wendy Davis claim-- Women “are still paid 82 cents for every dollar a man earns in Texas.”—I downloaded the one-year 2011 ACS table attached here as a PDF document.
Do you see this as the best indicator of such differences?
How would you recommend analyzing the senator’s claim?
Any other experts come to mind?
W. Gardner Selby