In “The Wage Gap Starts With Less Knowledge, and Lower Expectations”, the New York Times reports on a 2011 Schwab study where American teens were surveyed. Boys expected a starting salary of $79,700 per year and a mid-career salary of $162,300. The Times provides no data on actual wages in the U.S. A quick Google search reveals that the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median hourly wage across all occupations in the U.S. in May 2013 was $16.87 per hour (about $34,000 per year) and the average (mean) wage was $46,440. In other words, absent spectacular economic growth or inflation, the boys are overestimating their likely earnings by a factor of about 4X. Girls, on the other hand, overestimated their likely earnings by a factor of about 3X.
What conclusion does the Times draw from the fact that girls are better at estimating their future earnings than boys? “The girls of America seem to know less about money than boys, …”