Exploration of Leisure Time Valuation to Explain Sex-Based Wage Gaps among Salaried Primary Care Physicians in the US
William B. Weeks and Bruno Ventelou
Published: 03 July 2017
Abstract: In the US, female physicians have lower hourly incomes than their male counterparts, across specialties and after adjusting for physician and practice characteristics; however, female physicians work fewer hours than their male counterparts. We wanted to determine whether a simple method of valuing leisure time – overtime pay – might help explain sex-based wage gaps among US primary care physicians. Therefore, we used Community Tracking Study Physician Survey data from 1996-2005 to model the impact of overtime pay on sex-based wage gaps. As overtime premiums increased in our models, sex-based wage disparities decreased: they become statistically insignificant when overtime wages reached 0%, 32%, and 61% premiums using the ordinary least squared model and with 0%, 62%, and 55% premiums using the propensity score weighted model, for internal medicine, family practice, and pediatric physicians, respectively. We conclude that modest overtime premiums reduced sex-based hourly wage gaps for the salaried primary care physicians we examined. Future analyses of sex-based wage gaps should account for leisure time and its trade for work hours when it becomes scarce.Keywords: Sex-based wage gaps, primary care physicians, workforce, gender, physician income.