The persistence of pay inequality: The gender pay gap in an anonymous online labor market

The U.S. is witnessing a dramatic rise in nontraditional 'gig economy' labor markets where workers are hired for single projects often on a short-term basis. An estimated 0.4% of U.S. adults are currently receiving income from such platforms each month. Research conducted based on collaboration between Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and CloudResearch.com examined the work of over 20,000 men and women completing over 5 million tasks online, and found a gender pay gap not accounted for by demographics, task preferences, or experience. On average, women's hourly earnings were 10.5% lower than men's. This is the first study to provide evidence that pay gaps can arise despite the absence of overt discrimination, labor segregation, and inflexible work arrangements. The findings are published online in PLOS ONE.