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Pay Peanuts and Get Monkeys? Evidence from Academia

  • Boyle Glenn


    (NZ Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation, Victoria University of Wellington)

In most countries, academic pay is independent of discipline, thus ignoring differences in labor market opportunities. Using some unique data from a comprehensive research assessment exercise undertaken in one such country -- New Zealand -- this paper examines the impact of discipline-independent pay on research quality. I find that the greater the difference between the value of a discipline's outside opportunities and its New Zealand academic salary, the weaker its research performance in New Zealand universities. The latter apparently get what they pay for: disciplines in which opportunity cost is highest relative to the fixed compensation are least able to recruit high-quality researchers. Paying peanuts attracts mainly monkeys.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:21
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