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Negative returns to seniority: New evidence in academic markets

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Author Info

  • Bernt Bratsberg
  • James F. Ragan
  • Jr
  • John T. Warren

Abstract

Recent research has suggested that the long-observed negative association between seniority and pay among college faculty largely reflects below-average research productivity of senior faculty-a possibility that most earlier studies did not examine. Overlooked in both waves of studies, however, is match quality. Because the higher quality of the faculty/institutional match implied by higher seniority should, all else equal, result in higher salaries, failure to account for match quality inflates the estimated returns to seniority. Indeed, that positive bias, the authors find, is roughly equal in magnitude to the negative bias caused by failure to account for research quantity and quality. When they account for both match quality and faculty research productivity in an analysis of data on economics faculty at five research universities over a 21-year period, the authors estimate that, holding experience and other factors constant, the penalty for twenty years of seniority is 16% of salary. (Author's abstract.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 306-323

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:56:y:2003:i:2:p:306-323

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Cited by:
  1. Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2003. "Karriereanreize für Wissenschaftler an Hochschulen im deutsch-amerikanischen Vergleich," Working Papers, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) 0051, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jan 2004.
  2. Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2009. "Monopsonistic Discrimination, Worker Turnover, and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 3930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Barbezat, Debra A., 2004. "Revisiting the seniority wage effect for faculty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 289-294, February.
  4. Carolyn Pitchik & Aloysius Siow, 1997. "Self-Promoting Investments," Working Papers, University of Toronto, Department of Economics pitchik-97-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  5. Hilmer, Christiana E. & Hilmer, Michael J. & Ransom, Michael R., 2012. "Fame and the Fortune of Academic Economists: How the Market Rewards Influential Research in Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 6960, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Crosta, Peter M. & Packman, Iris G., 2005. "Faculty productivity in supervising doctoral students' dissertations at Cornell University," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-65, February.
  7. Vegard Skirbekk, 2003. "Age and individual productivity: a literature survey," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2003-028, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2007044 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Izmirlioglu, Yusuf, 2008. "The Impact of Population Ageing on Technological Progress and TFP Growth, with Application to United States: 1950-2050," MPRA Paper 24687, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Where are they Now? Tracking the Ph.D. Class of 1997," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0605, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. Price, Gregory N., 2009. "The problem of the 21st century: Economics faculty and the color line," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-343, March.
  12. Christiana Hilmer & Michael Hilmer, 2010. "Do Public Ph.D.-Granting Economics Departments Invert Salaries?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 924-932.
  13. Barthel, Jens, 2008. "Can age discrimination be justified with a lower productivity of older workers?," MPRA Paper 14682, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Arntz, Melanie & Gregory, Terry, 2014. "What old stagers could teach us: Examining age complementarities in regional innovation systems," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 14-050, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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