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Paying our Presidents: What do Trustees Value?


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  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • John L. Cheslock
  • Julia Epifantseva


We use panel data on the salaries and benefits of private university and college presidents for the 1992-93 to 1996-97 period to try to infer the factors that the trustees of these institutions value. Salary level equations suggest that the salary and compensation of the presidents are positively associated with the enrollment and endowment levels of their institutions and the test scores of their entering students. Salary and compensation change equations estimated for the presidents who remained in their positions for four years provide only weak evidence that presidents' pay increases are related to their fund raising success and no evidence that they get rewarded for their institutions' freshmen test scores increasing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7886.

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Date of creation: Sep 2000
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Publication status: published as Ehrenberg, Ronald G., John J. Cheslock and Julia Epifantseva. "Paying Our Presidents: What Do Trustees Value?" Review of Higher Education (Fall 2001).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7886

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Cited by:
  1. Amanda Goodall, 2005. "Should Research Universities be led by top researchers? Part 1: Are they?," CEE Discussion Papers, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE 0051, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2002. "Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 8965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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