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Pay Peanuts and Get Monkeys? Evidence from Academia

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  • Boyle Glenn

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyle Glenn, 2008. "Pay Peanuts and Get Monkeys? Evidence from Academia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-26, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. James Walker & Anna Vignoles & Mark Collins, 2010. "Higher education academic salaries in the UK," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 12-35, January.
    2. Ben-David, Dan, 2008. "Brain Drained: A Tale of Two Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 6717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Procter, Roger, 2011. "Echanching Productivity: Towards an Updated Action Agenda," Occasional Papers 11/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    4. Baris Kaymak & Omer Acikgoz, 2011. "The Rising Skill Premium and Deunionization in the United States," 2011 Meeting Papers 1433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2389-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. John Gibson, 2018. "The Micro-Geography of Academic Research:How Distinctive is Economics?," Working Papers in Economics 18/03, University of Waikato.

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