Why are professors poorly paid?

From Daniel S. Hamermesh:

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.

Hamermesh then speculates the remaining difference may result from selection, namely that some people enjoy being less accountable to their superiors than do others.


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