NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Are Professors "Poorly Paid"?

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 24215
Issued in January 2018
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Using Current Population Survey data, I demonstrate a 15-percentage point wage disadvantage among academics compared to all other doctorate-holders with the same demographics. Time-diary data show that academics’ work hours are distributed more evenly over the week and day, although their total workweeks are equally long. This smoother distribution of work time accounts for as much as one-third of the wage disadvantage. Survey data (of economists only) indicate that flexible scheduling is an attraction, but only fourth among the characteristics of academic life.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24215

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