Michael Caine Trashes Gender Pay Gap, Says Elizabeth Taylor Made Way More Money

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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British actor Sir Michael Caine lashed out at the claim Hollywood has a gender pay gap problem, revealing Elizabeth Taylor was paid “10 times” more than him.

Caine dismissed the idea that rampant sexism in Hollywood led to men being paid more than women.

“It’s rubbish. I worked with Elizabeth Taylor and she got 10 times more than I did – and that was over 30 years ago,” Caine said Friday. “I don’t agree about the pay gap because she got a lot more money than me.”

Caine and Taylor starred opposite each other in the 1972 film “X, Y & Zee.” Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson and Salma Hayek have all complained about being paid less than their male counterparts.

Debates over the gender wage gap rage across society — the White House and many feminist groups demand a closure of the alleged pay gap. Some economists and academics, however, dispute the idea there is a gender wage gap due to discrimination.

A study published in May by Matthew Wiswall and Basit Zafar suggests pay differences between the genders have a lot to do with the different choices men and women make about the life-work balance.

The authors surveyed college students over several years to find out how much they valued different job attributes like pay, flexibility, part-time options, job stability and pay growth. (RELATED: Global Study Finds Gender Wage Gap Close To Zero)

The study found the average student is willing to give up 2.8 percent of annual earnings for jobs if there is a percentage point lower chance of getting fired. Students said they would give up a little over five percent of their pay for a job that has the option of working part-time hours.

There were sharp divisions between the genders. Women were willing to give up 7.3 percent of their pay for more flexible hours, compared to just one percent for men. Women also said they would opt for lower earnings to the tune of four percent for more job security, compared to 0.6 percent for men. (RELATED: Equal Pay Day Revisited: Why The Gender Pay Gap Is Still A Myth)

Men put a much bigger premium on earnings growth, saying they would trade off 3.4 percent of their pay to get a job where wage growth is faster.

“While there is substantial heterogeneity in preferences, we find that women, on average, have a higher willingness to pay for jobs with greater work flexibility (lower hours, and part-time option availability) and job stability (lower risk of job loss), while men have a higher willingness to pay for jobs with higher earnings growth,” wrote the study’s authors.

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