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The Returns to Seniority in Academic Labor Markets

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  • JAMES MONKS
  • MICHAEL ROBINSON

Abstract

Although earnings and seniority are believed positively related in most labor markets, the earnings of academics were thought to be an exception to this rule. Using the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty, from 1993, we find that earnings and seniority are positively related once adequate controls for past labor market mobility are included among the regressors. In particular, we find that individuals who are currently tenured at their initial job have the steepest seniority profile of any group we examined. We also find a handsome premium paid to individuals who are hired-with-tenure. These results suggest a market characterized by competitive "raiding" of top faculty. Earnings increase with seniority in most labor markets, and the most cited theoretical explanation for this observed relationship is that an individual acquires human capital, both general and firm-specific, while on the job and thus becomes more productive and

Suggested Citation

  • James Monks & Michael Robinson, 2001. "The Returns to Seniority in Academic Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 22(2), pages 415-427, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:22:y:2001:i:2:p:415-427
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    Cited by:

    1. Barbezat, Debra A., 2004. "Revisiting the seniority wage effect for faculty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 289-294, February.
    2. Michael J. Hilmer & Michael R. Ransom & Christiana E. Hilmer, 2015. "Fame and the fortune of academic economists: How the market rewards influential research in economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 430-452, October.
    3. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
    4. Günther G. Schulze & Susanne Warning & Christian Wiermann, 2008. "What and How Long Does It Take to Get Tenure? The Case of Economics and Business Administration in Austria, Germany and Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 473-505, November.
    5. Dilger, Alexander, 2014. "Die Bedeutung des Wettbewerbs in Wissenschaft und Hochschule," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 8/2014, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    6. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2002. "Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 8965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & John T. Warren, 2010. "Does Raiding Explain The Negative Returns To Faculty Seniority?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 704-721, July.
    8. Nelson, Paul A. & Monson, Terry, 2006. "Research Funding, Experience, and Seniority in Academia," Review of Applied Economics, Review of Applied Economics, vol. 2(1).

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