ERIC Number: ED470058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-May
Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market.
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
This paper focuses on three academic labor market issues that researchers at Cornell University are addressing currently: (1) the declining salaries of faculty employed at public colleges and universities relative to the salaries of their counterparts at private higher education institutions; (2) the growing dispersion of average faculty salaries across academic institutions within public and private sectors; and (3) the impacts of the growing importance and costs of science on the academic labor market and universities. The forces behind the decline in the average salaries of professors in public universities relative to those at private universities are easy to identify. Fifty to 60% of this change can be explained by differences in the real tuition levels in the two sectors. Given the gap between average salaries in the two sectors, the average continuation rate for associate professors at private research and doctoral institutions did exceed the average continuation rate for associate professors at public institutions. The causes of the growing dispersion in the logarithm of average faculty salaries across institutions differ for public and private institutions. For private institutions, this dispersion seems to result from the growing dispersion of endowment wealth, and for public research universities, the growing variance in logarithms of average real salaries is due to both growing endowment per student differences and growing differences in state appropriates per student. Research on the impact of science on the university is in its infancy, but it may be that the growth of science has crowded out things other than faculty at universities. The study of academic labor markets, and the economics of higher education in general, is still at an early stage. (Contains 6 figures, 1 table, and 52 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presidential address prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Labor Economists (Baltimore, MD, May 3-4, 2002).