IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Professors and hamburgers: an international comparison of real academic salaries

Listed author(s):
  • Li Lian Ong
  • Jason Mitchell
Registered author(s):

    In recent years, academic staff unions and associations have argued for higher salaries for academics on the grounds that existing salaries have not kept pace with inflation, are well below commercial salaries and, most glaringly, are much lower than the salaries of their overseas counterparts. However, most international comparisons are made based on exchange rate conversions, which is inappropriate since purchasing power differentials are only reflected in exchange rates in the long term. Furthermore, the volatility of exchange rates make such conversions highly inaccurate. A comparison is provided of real academic salaries by converting the nominal salaries in each country to their purchasing power equivalents, using the Big Mac Index. Our results show that real academic salaries are highest in Hong Kong and Singapore, relative to the developed countries, while Hong Kong tax and social security deductions are lowest. Furthermore, real salary levels, combined with intrinsic considerations such as the quality-of-life, indicate that Canada and New Zealand are unattractive places for visiting/migrating academics, while Australia and the USA are relatively attractive. It is suggested that these findings could be of use to policy-makers and academic unions in salary negotiations, as well as academics making relocation decisions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 869-876

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:7:p:869-876
    DOI: 10.1080/000368400322200
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:7:p:869-876. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.