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That "average faculty salary" data isn't worth that much w/o separating out med school, law school, and business school faculty (and maybe others) as these make much higher salaries, on average, than those in other schools.

It's strange that Princeton is so high.

Yes, wondering that myself. Lower than Harvard, but not by much.

Medical schools were excluded, probably because their professorial salaries are low, supplemented by practicing medicine. But the implication is that law and business are included.

Interesting on salaries. I'm curious about external income, though. What does an econ prof make in consulting fees in addition to salary?

You ask the right question. The next question to ask is how many days of week must they work and how many days a year can they consult.

You can figure it out by making reasonable assumptions about rates and total consulting hours worked per year, but you need to caveat it with the facts that you won't get that business until somewhat into your career, and you probably won't last in that business either. As Bill points out, your school likely has limits, although how those limits are interpreted varies.

So it's a nice kick and the peak may be high, but averaged over a career it's not significant except for a few outliers.

Eh - that average is of course pulled down by people like me, art historian. We don't consult a lot. Though I'm pleased to see how we are paid compared to other Baccalaureate schools, the fact is that we are still below the median of our self-identified comparison group, so that makes some of us feel underpaid. Poverty and wealth are relative.

I thought the question was specifically about econ professors. They do alright but not great, relative to someone with the skills to get tenure at Harvard in Econ but who chose to get a real job instead.

The gap at Berkeley between instructors and assistant professors looks like the largest (published) from what I can see, but in all cases the gaps are pretty huge.

I take that back, a few schools are pretty close. Quite an enormous difference considering that many instructors have doctorates as well, in my experience. That might depend on the school.

In TGS, you put healthcare as one of the driers of the US economy. Will that be less of the case now that some forom of central planning-ish health reform seems likely?

What is the average number of hours spent each year by full Professors on all course-related work (lecture, preparation, grading)?

Why is student tuition used to cross-subsidize professorial research, especially considering the large percentage of such research that is pure garbage?

"Why is student tuition used to cross-subsidize professorial research"

Because money is fungible.

And because they are paying for more than good post-bacculareate placement....and for prestige, professorial research success counts.


We all know women are just as physically capable as men, so I'm sure the captains just ordered "women and children first" as a chauvinistic insult on behalf of the patriarchy.

Hypothetically, would a woman Captain be a part of "women first"? I wonder.

I think it matters if she's of childbearing age...

" Young women and children first?"

Re: Faculty salaries. I don't trust the data. I looked at the data for institutions in my state, which gives me data for my institution, which I know to be wrong. This database shows an average salary for full professors at my institution of $80,400. Our internal data show an average salary that is about 10% higher than that. Whether similar errors will show up for other institutions (if you're looking at this stuff, you might look at your own institution), I obviously can't say.

Donald: They normalize all salaries to 9-month equivalents. If your school pays out summer support of 2/9 to half of professors (I don't know if that's reasonable or not), then your data on actual outlays would show a 10% higher number. Perhaps that accounts for the discrepancy?

Nope. It's the academic year salary and does not include summer pay (here paid over 10 months, so I suppose it's possible that they're taking 9/10 or our salaries...but that'd be stupid).

I tried this once, but nothing posted; lately, I seem to be able to comment on Alex's posts, but only sporadically on Tyler's Strange. Anyway, the discrepancy is between the number in that database and the number here that reflects our 10-month (academic-year) salaries.

@4: What is Urtak and why do I need to sign up for an account? Here's the question I would have put: What current non-gourmet culinary syncreticisms, such as British Indian food or American Chinese food, have the most promise to become lasting "ethnic" cuisines that a future Tyler Cowen would praise?

If Maryland is any indication, the average is hiding the top 10% who are over 2 mil.

Out of 148,362 people who were paid any sort of salary by the state of Maryland in fiscal 2010, about 3% of them made six-figure salaries.
According to a list obtained from the Comptroller’s Office, 5,139 government employees were paid more than $100,000 in the last fiscal year. This listing included full-time, part-time and contract employees. The names and salaries of top-paid employees can be found here.
Almost two-thirds of them – or 3,310 – worked for the University of Maryland, which includes the flagship College Park campus, as well as the campuses in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, University College, and the Eastern Shore. It also includes the university’s Center for Environmental Science and administrative offices.
No other government department came close to the number of six-figure salaries paid by the university, though the next largest group – 438 making more than $100,000 – came from state universities and colleges. This includes state schools like Towson University, Coppin State, the University of Baltimore, Frostburg State, Bowie State, and Salisbury University.
Based on the number of full-time employees listed in the state’s audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (page 151), 9.4% of the 39,481 employees in higher education make six-figure salaries, and only 2.3% of the 60,734 employees in the rest of state government make $100,000 or more.

The question "Should we fear genetically modified foods? " is doing rather poorly in their poll, but I will really appreciate your perspective on the matter.

Here is the link where you can look up Tyler's salary.

I don't know if this includes anything from Mercatus. It doesn't include consulting.

Wow. Tyler's rich.

Tyler is comfortable. I doubt anyone believed otherwise on this blog.

That makes him rich AND famous. Famous being the goal and what makes a professor rich.

Thus, the world works. At least in this instance.

It probably also does not include expense reimbursements for travel to conferences and other such.

Whoa, Peter Leeson has been making over 120K as an ASSISTANT professor, while Bryan Caplan (who taught him) has been making about 107K as a FULL professor. And who is Thomas Stratmann that he jumped from making 160 to 205 from 2009 to 2010? Wikipedia doesn't even have an entry for him.
Here are the salaries for just GMU's econ department:

Re: salaries, there are indeed huge differences between professors at leading research universities and those in smaller, especially public, universities and colleges. Maybe there is a good argument to be made that during a recession, professors should teach more and do less research, to help universities close their budgets. But as the article at the Chronicle shows, faculty salaries have not increased much overall, and do not explain the wild inflation in university costs and tuition fees, especially since faculty salaries have only kept up with inflation and increasingly more non-tenure track lecturers (who are paid peanuts) are being used for teaching.

As for the old question, Are professors overpaid? It depends. If you consider the 5-8 years of foregone salary needed to get through the PhD, and compute a Net Present Value of lifetime earnings, professors are hardly overpaid (arguably, this varies by field since some fields are more ''fun'' than others; faculty are likely a little overpaid in some and underpaid in others). It really boils down to: What is the value of public research and its role in improving higher education? It's not easy to answer.

Consulting is a straw man: in many fields, there are no such opportunities, and in fields where there are some, it is a winner-takes-all type of market. A few academics, who are both prominent and also business-sharp, do very well (include columns and books in here too, e.g. Krugman), but probably 99% of academics will hardly make a buck in consulting. For many who are good enough to get such a contract, the money is not worth the trouble. If they wanted a career in consulting, they would have done so upon getting a PhD (as many economists do).

Actually, consulting is not the only source of income that may not be accounted for. In medical and science research fields, the academic may be able to negotiate royalties for discoveries, or be able to invest his/her time in a start up designd to commercialize the discovery.

Also, I don't know if the academic salary survey includes private funding for chairs, etc. Some states report only state pay, and not private funding for a chair.

On the other hand, I would argue that the value of lifetime tenure and job security, and the ability to work until you die, has to be factored in as well.

>As for the old question, Are professors overpaid? It depends. If you consider the 5-8 years of foregone salary needed to get through the PhD, and compute a Net Present Value of lifetime earnings, professors are
>hardly overpaid

But why should we assume that people deserve some sort of compensation just for putting a lot of time into something? It seems more realistic to connect the question of overpayment with the value that the person is actually producing, i.e. does Professor A earn more than the value he creates? If so, he might be overpaid. This isn't to suggest that it's easy to measure the value that professors create, just that statements on over/underpayment should at least take a stab at that question rather than assuming, as the AAUP study does, that years of schooling somehow entitle someone to an income.

Considering forgone salary during phd studies is a poor way of calculating the net cost of a career as a professor. The right comparison is to consider the net savings that wouid have been created during the extended scholarship period netted against the relative lifestyle one would have endured/enjoyed working/studying. For some, school would be a net positive experience, for others, working would be a net positive.

Hearing this advice as I toyed with the decision to take two years off of a good-paying career to go to business school was what made me decide to take the plunge. Two of the best years of my life, and materially increased earning power. Admittedly, even most top business schools are less rigorous than comparable phd programs, but I'd also say that students in business schools are giving up more income than their phd peers.

@Bill: Good point about medical and science fields. Among those I know, such royalties and start-ups are the exception, not the norm. However, I would argue that often these represent ''second jobs'', and if someone wants to work an extra 20 hrs a week over the 70 hr a week regular job at the University, who are we to stop them?

Tenure is also a good point, but I think it is also often a straw man. Tenure does not protect you against a University closing down an entire department, as has happened several times during the recession. So when it matters most, it has no bite. It also does not protect you against egregious behavior (fraud, etc.).

However, you are absolutely right that it has value. It is good for both parties: academics have some protection against the hold-up problem of being ultra-specialized and thus having a small market for their skills; and universities can offer lower salaries by offering the prospect of tenure, which provides cost savings.

Not many people can hold second jobs. It helps if your first job doesn't demand as many hours as you claim.

As for tenure, you can be specialized in French language instruction, when the school needs Chinese language specialists, and you could argue that the school is the one being held up, not the one whose specialty is out of style.

Re: second jobs, what I mean is that some top scientists are so productive they can do both. Good for them. It does not lessen the work they do for the university. If you take it away, they'll go to the private sector, and students and public research will lose.

Good point re: tenure, but the hold-up concept in economics is very precise and does not work both ways. The idea is that before someone invests to specialize in, say, French literature, they need some guarantee that their work will be valued. Tenure is such a way. Now, you could argue that we are giving students the wrong incentives in the first place: the real problem is too many PhDs in the humanities and social sciences, perhaps, who are misled about career prospects. Maybe indeed we need more Chinese language specialists, or Latin American specialists, etc. Different issue.

Those salaries are insanely low compared to the amount of work involved.

I realize it is easy to claim otherwise.

"The idea is that before someone invests to specialize in, say, French literature, they need some guarantee that their work will be valued."

Please tell me in what other industry this kind of "guarantee" applies. Tenure is BS.

Like above, I typed in a question, but then was asked to register:
There are many artificial flavorings out there that simulate natural ones, such as vanilla or almond. Are there many, many flavors that don't exist in nature that could be developed in the laboratory to broaden flavoring options?

evolution is mercilessly efficient. just like one could not develop a new artificial color.

Efficient at survival or at developing interesting flavors? I know nothing about the chemistry of food, but it does seem like a possibility.

Wow, after looking at the professor salaries for my state, I don't feel so bad about my govt. atty. pay. Imagine going to school for that long, and the LUCKY ones are still only making $50-70k

You sir, get it.

The year before I came back to school, I was making considerably more than my advisor. I will NEVER get to be a professor. I will "Fail" and return to industry, and make roughly DOUBLE my advisor's pay for half the work.

Why don't you just do an AMA on Reddit?

Regarding the Rodan-Rosenstein book - politics and institutions are epiphenomena - they are not fundamental causal factors. Haiti is an African country while the Dominican Republic is predominantly mestizo with a small but influential white minority. So you have the difference between Africa and Central America duplicated on a single island.

Regarding the Rodan-Rosenstein book - politics and institutions are epiphenomena - they are not real causal factors. Haiti is an African country while the Dominican Republic is predominantly mestizo with an influential white minority. The two duplicate on a single island the difference between Africa and Central America.

What are you referring to? The FDA has set a very high bar for any proposed new artificial color additive, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. You'd have to show some benefit (other than economic) over existing additives, which is possible. A new yellow which lacks the allergy provoking properties of Yellow #5 would satisy the benefit test. Then, all you'd need would be a mountain of safety data.

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