Here I have included reference letters written by some of the people I have met or worked with throughout my education or professional career, including my internship at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, one of the nation’s top lobbying firms. I’ve also included links to my referrers biographies when possible.
Michael Levy, Ph.D
Policy Director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
In my career at a major law firm, earlier as an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Treasury, and a professor at both Georgetown and Texas A&M Universities, I have had the opportunity to interact with and often mentor countless numbers of young men and women. Without a doubt, Curtis ranks in the top one percent of those individuals.
Dr. Michael Levy
Policy Director, Managing Partner, and Shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
As managing partner of our office, I have come across many interns over the years. The work Curtis performed was excellent in its own right and in comparison to those who preceded him.
I researched my thesis under the guidance of Prof. Bilginsoy at the University of Utah and with considerable input from Matthew Weinstein at Voices for Utah Children. Our publicized results got a lot of media attention, especially from the University of Utah. In addition to the media, I presented my findings before the Utah Commission on Women in the Economy.Voices for Utah Children
“Discrimination explains most of Utah’s wage gap, just as it explains most of America’s wage gap,” said Curtis Miller, the University of Utah Department of Economics Master’s degree student who conducted the research project. “But the qualifications and characteristics of male and female workers in Utah, such as women having less education than men and having less success breaking into the higher paying sectors, explain why Utah’s wage gap is so much larger than the rest of the nation.” Miller also co-authored Utah’s Gender Opportunity: An examination of the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women with Weinstein in January of this year
Voices for Utah Children
The effect of different treatment for women is similar nationally. But in Utah, the pay gap is even bigger because women are less educated and less likely to have high-paying jobs than they are in other states, said Curtis Miller, a mathematics master’s student at the U. who led the study.
But sometime over the course of the following generation, they’ve stumbled — falling from ½ percent behind to more than 3 percentage points behind, according to a recent study from Voices for Utah Children.
Curtis Miller, writer of the Voices for Utah Children’s study, attributes 27 percent of the wage gap to measurable qualifications that reflect men’s qualifications outpacing women’s for higher-paying jobs, such as occupational choice and education.
The remaining 73 percent accounts for nonmeasurable factors, which would include “discrimination,” intended or not.
Matthew Weinstein and Curtis Miller just released their latest study Thursday that hopes answer that question more fully, and frame some solutions for Utah women’s futures. In their report for Voices for Utah Children, “Explaining Utah’s Gender Gap in Wages,” they boiled the reasons down to two broad factors – discrimination, or what they call the “returns effect,” and women’s measurable attributes and characterizations, or the “endowment effect.”
While women nationally have progressed when it comes to education received, Utah has actually digressed since the last decade.
“What we found is that a generation ago in the 1990s there was just a half point gap between men and women with college degrees in Utah and nationally,” Weinstein said. “But now the gap is over three points in Utah in favor of men, which is the opposite of the trend nationally.”
A study entitled “Utah’s Gender Opportunity: An examination of the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women” by Voices for UTAH Children was released Thursday. The study provides comprehensive examples and explanations of the economic situations currently facing girls and women; the findings are not pretty!
The conclusion of this is that the returns effect, which is intended to measure
discrimination, is nearly 3 times as influential as the endowment effect in explaining
Utah’s gender wage gap. However, the endowment effect explains most of why
Utah’s gap is so much worse than the nation’s.
According to Weinstein, Utah could combat the wage gap by discouraging discrimination, promoting women’s education and entry into higher-paying occupations and industries, and by creating family-friendly workplace policies. Since women earn so much less than men and are so over-represented in low-wage occupations, policies that boost take-home pay for lower-income workers such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are particularly vital for Utah women and their families.
The first paper I co-authored with Matthew Weinstein for Voices for Utah Children discussing the gender gap in earnings got the attention of local media. Here is some of what was said:Voices for Utah Children
The report includes a wealth of data, charts, and tables about the gender gap in Utah and nationally. It makes policy recommendations, including items that may be considered by the 2015 Legislative General Session, as well as topics for the consideration of the Utah Commission on Women in the Economy. This report is a collaboration between Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah Department of Economics. It was authored by Curtis Miller, an undergraduate economics major at the University, and Matthew Weinstein, MPP, State Priorities Partnership Director at Voices for Utah Children.
Voices for Utah Children
It’s going to take a long time before a woman in Utah earns as much, on average, as a man.
Say, another 72 years.
That finding, along with several others in a study released Thursday by the nonprofit group Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah department of economics, suggest inequality in the Beehive State will be hard to overcome — to the detriment of women, their children and the state’s economy as a whole.
“If we close the gap then it will help women who want to raise a family but also have to work,” Miller said. “If things would become more affordable for them and if the gap closed … they wouldn’t have to work as many hours to earn the same income, and they could spend more time at home with their families if they choose.”
“If our wage gap was only as bad as the nation’s as a whole, the mathematical difference is $1.6 billion, with a B, that would be added to Utah’s economy. It’s a huge number,” said Matthew Weinstein, who co-authored the report.
His non-profit, Voices for Utah Children, worked with economics student Curtis Miller from the University of Utah to examine the difference between the earnings of Utah men and women.
They found that in Utah, women earn 70¢ for every dollar men earn. In comparison, the national average in 2013 was 79.2¢.
Utah is still behind the rest of the nation when it comes to the gender wage gap. Those are the finding of the organization Voices for Utah Children.
The report finds, in Utah, a woman makes an average of 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. That’s below even the national average, which is 77 cents for every dollar.
ABC 4 Utah
As the father of a daughter who will one day seek to make a life and a career of her own, I am appalled by the wage gap in our country, where women make 79.2 cents to every dollar earned by a man, according to Voices for Utah Children study released earlier this year.
The difference is even greater in the Beehive State (70 cents to every dollar), pushing Utah’s track to close the wage gap to 2087, 40 years later than the national projection, according to the same study.
My daughter would be 82 and, obviously, well beyond her working years.
The smile on Taidyn’s face disappeared at this news.
“That is unfair!” she exclaimed. “That’s like saying, ‘We’re better than you.’ They should all be making equal amounts.”
I was also the lead researcher at Voices for Utah Children for the Utah Children’s Budget Report 2015. In this report, I aggregated Utah budget data for various children’s programs and presented it in a single document, dividing up the budget into different areas that affect children’s present and future well-being, along with trends. This report also got media attention.Voices for Utah Children
Matthew Weinstein, State Priorities Partnership Director at Voices for Utah Children, released the 2015 edition of the Utah Children’s Budget Report today with Curtis Miller, a Master’s Degree student in Statistics at the University of Utah who conducted most of the research for the report. Weinstein commented, “The policymakers who write Utah’s state budget care about kids first and foremost. They are preparing budget proposals for the 2016 Legislature right now. We hope this report can be a resource for them in assessing whether we are achieving our state’s goals. The next generation needs to be prepared to make Utah’s economy among the world’s most prosperous and successful in the 21st century.”
Voices for Utah Children
Per-child spending bottomed out in 2011, said Curtis Miller, a statistics graduate student and instructor at the University of Utah, who prepared the report. “But we have still quite a ways to go.”
In 2014, the state of Utah spent $45 million more dollars on services for children than in did in 2008. Which sounds good, until you figure in — as the folks at Voices for Utah Children have done — that the number of children living in the state climbed by nearly 59,000.
Strides have been made in health care for Utah kids, as well as in early childhood education, but “we have quite a ways to go,” said Curtis Miller, a University of Utah master’s student and professor [sic] of statistics who compiled the report. He said 90 percent of what is spent on Utah children is funneled through the public education system, with the remainder of taxpayer dollars spent on child health care, the juvenile justice system and various welfare programs.
“Public investment in Utah children is 6 percent lower per child than it was before the 2008 recession, according to the third edition of the Utah Children’s Budget Report by Voices for Utah Children,” Voices for Utah Children said in a release. “The report objectively quantifies trends in public expenditures for children in Utah’s state budget.”
Here I have included sample work from my professional career, including memos I wrote at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck for the firm’s lobbyists and their clients, and reports that I have written for Voices for Utah Children on the gender gap in earnings and the Children’s Budget. I have also included a zip file containing all the R scripts used to produce the findings of my paper on Utah’s earnings gap.