Why Are Professors "Poorly Paid"?
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.
I thank Jeff Biddle, Ronald Ehrenberg, Richard Murphy and Stephen Trejo for helpful suggestions, and all the IZA Research Fellows and Affiliates who responded to the survey discussed in Section III. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Daniel S. Hamermesh
No financial support was received for this project.