Is There a Danger Premium for Jobs?

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Over at Alas, a Blog, there’s yet another post in ampersand’s marvelous series on the wage gap between men and women. This one attacks the myth, often touted by conservatives, that women earn less than men because they don’t work in dangerous “manly” fields. But, amp finds, there’s no actual wage premium for dangerous jobs.

From a free market point of view, that’s unexpected; you’d think that in a perfectly functioning labor market employers would need to offer higher pay to attract workers into dangerous fields like mining or forestry, jobs where there’s a chance of getting injured, maimed, or even killed. But no. Markets aren’t working perfectly here, either because workers don’t always get an optimal choice of what jobs to take, or because workers can’t assess the risk involved in the work they’re doing, or other factors. Not surprisingly, though, the “risk premium” reappears for unionized workers. Interesting post, worth reading in full.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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