TAU study discovers eBay pay gap

A Tel Aviv University researcher finds women make less money selling items on eBay.

22 February 2016

Dr. Tamar Kricheli-Katz from Tel Aviv University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology along with Dr. Tali Regev examined transaction data from Ebay.com. They looked at the period between 2009 and 2012 to see whether male or female sellers on the site made the same amount of money when selling identical items. The findings were recently published in the journal Science Advances.


The study found that when it came to new items, women sellers recieved 80 cents, on average, for every dollar recieved by their male peers. With used items, the difference was smaller - with women recieving 3 cents less per dollar. The researchers examined over 630,000 auction transactions overall. 


Dr. Kricheli-Katz believes this bias doesn't stem from any conscious decisions on the part of buyers. "We actually think that most of it is unconscious," she said. "The fact is that most of us have biases. We hold them unconsciously, and it makes it difficult to change."


This pay gap is remarkably similar to a recent report from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimates that women in the U.S. make 81 cents for every dollar paid to their similarly qualified male colleagues.

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