IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26070.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Monopsony Power in Higher Education: A Tale of Two Tracks

Author

Listed:
  • Austan Goolsbee
  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

This paper tests for and measures monopsony power in the U.S. higher education labor market. It does so by directly estimating the residual labor supply curves facing individual four-year colleges and universities using school-specific labor demand instruments. The results indicate that schools have significant monopsony power over their tenure track faculty. Its magnitude is monotonic in rank, being greatest over full professors and smaller for associate and assistant professors. For non-tenure track faculty, however, universities do not seem to have any monopsony power and instead face perfectly elastic residual labor supply curves. Universities’ market power over tenure track faculty does not differ between public and private schools nor between female and male faculty. Monopsony power is greater for larger universities, and the geographic market for faculty seems to be national rather than local. Monopsony power is also larger at higher-status institutions as measured by Carnegie classifications, average test scores of the undergraduate student body, or initial salary rankings. The results also suggest that monopsony power has contributed to the trend toward non-tenure track faculty in U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2019. "Monopsony Power in Higher Education: A Tale of Two Tracks," NBER Working Papers 26070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26070
    Note: ED IO LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26070.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    2. Fishback, Price V, 1992. "The Economics of Company Housing: Historical Perspectives from the Coal Fields," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 346-365, April.
    3. Douglas O. Staiger & Joanne Spetz & Ciaran S. Phibbs, 2010. "Is There Monopsony in the Labor Market? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 211-236, April.
    4. Thibaut Lamadon & Magne Mogstad & Bradley Setzler, 2019. "Imperfect competition, compensating differentials and rent sharing in the U.S. labor market," Discussion Papers 918, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. Tuckman, Howard P. & Katz, David A., 1981. "Estimation of relative elasticities of substitution and relative compensation for part-time faculty," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 359-366, June.
    6. Arindrajit Dube & Suresh Naidu & Michael Reich, 2007. "The Economic Effects of a Citywide Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(4), pages 522-543, July.
    7. Brown, Robert W, 1993. "An Estimate of the Rent Generated by a Premium College Football Player," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 671-684, October.
    8. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-930, December.
    9. Jeremy T. Fox, 2010. "Estimating the Employer Switching Costs and Wage Responses of Forward-Looking Engineers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 357-412, April.
    10. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
    11. Ransom, Michael R, 1993. "Seniority and Monopsony in the Academic Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 221-233, March.
    12. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-1143, Nov.-Dec..
    13. Sullivan, Daniel, 1989. "Monopsony Power in the Market for Nurses," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 135-178, October.
    14. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
    15. Hirsch, Barry T. & Schumacher, Edward J., 1995. "Monopsony power and relative wages in the labor market for nurses," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 443-476, October.
    16. 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.
    17. James Luizer & Robert Thornton, 1986. "Concentration in the Labor Market for Public School Teachers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 573-584, July.
    18. Adamache, Killard W. & Sloan, Frank A., 1982. "Unions and hospitals : Some unresolved issues," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 81-108, May.
    19. William M. Boal, 1995. "Testing for Employer Monopsony in Turn-of-the-Century Coal Mining," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 519-536, Autumn.
    20. Suresh Naidu & Yaw Nyarko & Shing-Yi Wang, 2016. "Monopsony Power in Migrant Labor Markets: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1735-1792.
    21. Hoffman, Emily P, 1976. "Faculty Salaries: Is There Discrimination by Sex, Race, and Discipline? Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 196-198, March.
    22. Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2009. "Monopsonistic discrimination, worker turnover, and the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 589-597, October.
    23. Monks, James & Robinson, Michael, 2000. "Gender and Racial Earnings Differentials in Academic Labor Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 662-671, October.
    24. George Karatzas, 2009. "On the origin and the literal meaning of monopsony: a note," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(4), pages 425-430, December.
    25. Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Postbellum U.S. South," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 413-445, April.
    26. Boris Hirsch & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2010. "Differences in Labor Supply to Monopsonistic Firms and the Gender Pay Gap: An Empirical Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 291-330, April.
    27. Torberg Falch, 2010. "The Elasticity of Labor Supply at the Establishment Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 237-266, April.
    28. Pencavel, John H, 1972. "Wages, Specific Training, and Labor Turnover in US Manufacturing Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 53-64, February.
    29. Baker, Jonathan B. & Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1988. "Estimating the residual demand curve facing a single firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 283-300.
    30. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
    31. Jordan D. Matsudaira, 2014. "Monopsony in the Low-Wage Labor Market? Evidence from Minimum Nurse Staffing Regulations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 92-102, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26070. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.