Cody Cook Profile picture
20 Nov, 10 tweets, 3 min read
First paper —> first tweet

"The Gender Pay Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from 1mil Uber Drivers” (with Diamond, Hall, List, @pauloyer) is forthcoming at ReStud. Uber pay doesn’t depend on gender, but we find that male Uber drivers make 7% more than female drivers [1/9]
Three factors explain the pay gap. 1) Men and women drive in different areas. The single most important determinant of where someone drives is where they *live*, and men and women live in different areas. [2/9]
Controlling for home location, men drive in areas with more bars and crime and receive a compensating differential for this. This suggests safety concerns are particularly salient for female drivers. In Chicago, 'where' explains ~25% of the gap. [3/9]
2) Driving for Uber comes with a learning curve -- drivers with >2,500 trips earn 14% more than those in first 100 trips. Through working more weeks and more hours/week, the average male driver is higher on the learning curve. This explains another ~32% of the gap. [4/9]
3) Men drive faster than women on average—both on Uber and in general!—and Uber's pay structure rewards speed. Uber pays for both time and distance, but in almost all cases it’s better to drive faster in order to start the next trip sooner and accrue more ‘distance’ pay. [5/9]
After accounting for these three factors—where, experience, and speed—the gender pay gap goes to zero. We focus on Chicago, but replicate in a number of US cities. [6/9]
In the case of Uber, polices that may help reduce the pay gap include 1) training that flattens the learning curve for new drivers and 2) rebalancing per-minute/per-mile pay to reward speedy drivers less [7/9]
Our data was from before Uber had in-app tipping, but I highly recommend this paper by @econ_b et al showing that women are tipped more on Uber (but not enough to offset the pay gap) [8/9]
General lesson: even in a flexible job with gender-blind pay and no evidence of customer-side discrimination, a gender pay gap can arise due to differences in working preferences/constraints. Full paper here: [9/9]
Bonus result for appendix-readers: in Chicago, men stop driving when the Bears games start, but start again during halftime. The Bears won a division-worst 28% of games in the sample, so you can perhaps understand why fans may want to skip the second half 🐻

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