Publishing pays in economics

Here is a new paper by Suzanne O’Keefe and Ta-Chen Wang:

We study salaries of economics faculty at the University of California to determine how publications affect salary. We find that each publication in a top 10 journal has a positive and significant effect on annual base salary of 1.5%, or $2,053. Unlike previous research, our analysis specifies the impact of publications in specific journals. Publications in American Economic Review, Econometrica, and Review of Economics and Statistics have an independent positive effect on salary. Compensation is also affected by faculty rank, seniority, university of employment, and teaching awards. Base salary does not significantly differ by gender, however, gross salary is about 9% lower for women. After controlling for migration and faculty rank, seniority has a negative impact on salary.

Here is a sentence of interest:

Full-time tenure-track economics faculty members in the UC system have gross salaries ranging from about $70,000 to $378,000.

Against my expectations, UCLA economics professors are paid more than 13k more, on average, than UC Berkeley economics professors.  The pay gap for women is larger in economics than in these universities as a whole.

The possibly gated article is here, and for the pointer I thank Michelle Dawson.


Alternate title: "Solve for the equilibrium"

Please, for the love of God, no more navel gazing papers where Economists study publications data for economists. Do you realize how dorky this makes Economists look? It's like Physicts saying "lets forget about the electron and study how many times students smile in class whenever we say 'Einstein'!"

No, its not like that at all.

Economists study resource allocation by humans for humans. A study about the salaries of Econ professors is in their line of work. They could have studied the salaries of physics professors, but they would be far less familiar with the factors affecting supply and demand in that market.

Let's change your horrid analogy to a Psychology professor saying, "lets forget about cognitive behavioral therapy and study how many times students smile when you mention sex." Is that not a research topic of some interest to psychologists?

Or how about a physics professor who says "let's stop talking about quantum mechanics and study how many student's cells are mutating from a recent gamma ray burst."

You're analogy mixes up a physical science with a social science topic. It's little wonder you don't understand why economists do what they do.

Would it be all right with you if a naval doctor navel gazes?


Your reply is thoughtful, generous and outlandishly wrong. These Economists are studying their own field's publications because the data is easy to get and it's easy to get publishable results. It's screams "I work in a bankrupt field that can't answer any real questions anymore"

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