It was Francine Blau's "Equal Pay in the Office" (1977) that laid out some of the seminal research on gender differences in labor market outcomes. Blau and other pioneering researchers established decades ago that the gender pay gap (then around 40%) could not be ignored by academic economists. Many organizations are concerned with whether their individual pay systems are gender neutral, but it is not easy to test robustly a pay system's gender neutrality. To build such a test requires consideration of several issues, including control variables, occupational patterns, statistical specifications, and the often-overlooked difference between wage and salary income and total compensation. Of course, there are also important but nuanced statistical issues to consider when testing whether pay systems are gender neutral. Many statistical issues are not complicated. Most can be explained in simple, intuitive language, and handled right if confronted objectively.

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