The Impact of Gender on Uber Driver Pay

Edward Nevraumont
3 min readNov 20, 2020

Cody Cook (PhD student, Stanford) and Paul Oyer (Economics Professor, Stanford) have a forthcoming paper that the gender pay gap for Uber drivers. It has long been known that while Uber drivers are paid “gender blind”, male drivers as a group consistently make more per hour of driving. Cook and Oyer’s paper attempts to tease apart the drivers of the difference (pun intended).

The Gender Pay Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from 1mil Uber Drivers” found there were three drivers that explained the entire difference in pay:

  • Risk taking: Male drivers are more likely to drive around bars and in high crime areas (which pay more per mile traveled)
  • Experience: Uber drivers tend to earn more over time (drivers with >2500 trips earn on average 17% more than drivers with <100 trips per hour). Male drivers tend to have more experience driving for Uber
  • Speed: Male drivers tend to drive faster and so have more trips per hour Uber pay is a function of number of trips, number of miles traveled and number of minutes driving, but on net more trips means more pay per hour)

The Cook/Oyer study did NOT look at tipping, but there is another working paper by Bharat Chandar, Uri Gneezy, John A. List and Ian Muirthat that looks at tips specifically and breaks out the gender “tip gap” (where women tend to be tipped higher than men per trip).

By combining the two papers plus taking estimates on average gross Uber driver pay per hour and average Uber trips/hour, we can build a full waterfall to visually see the difference in pay between female and male Uber drivers:

I am sure academics (including the authors of the two papers) will balk at my attempts to merge two different papers and combine it with rough estimates from two additional (non-peer reviewed) sources, but I think this is helpful for laypeople in conceptualizing the gap in numbers that are easy to grok.

Effectively men are making about $1.60/hour more than women. Almost half of that gap is explained by driving faster. Women make more in tips, but it is practically a rounding error on the total gap.

Here is the spreadsheet I used to make the chart.

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Edward Nevraumont

CMO/Advisor/Tsundoku ex-@ga @aplaceformom @expedia @mckinsey @wharton @proctergamble Author—MarketingBS