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Faculty Turnover at American Colleges and Universities: Analysis of AAUP Data


  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Hirschel Kasper
  • Daniel I. Rees


This paper uses institutional level data collected by the American Association of University Professors as part of their annual survey of faculty members' compensation to analyze faculty turnover. Analyses of aggregate data over almost a twenty-year period highlight how remarkably stable faculty retention rates have been nationwide and how little they vary across broad categories of institutions. Analyses of variations in faculty retention rates across individual institutions stress the role that faculty compensation levels play. Higher levels of compensation appear to increase retention rates for assistant and associate professors (but not for full professors) and the magnitude of this effect grows larger as one moves from institutions with graduate programs, to four-year undergraduate institutions, to two-year institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Hirschel Kasper & Daniel I. Rees, 1990. "Faculty Turnover at American Colleges and Universities: Analysis of AAUP Data," NBER Working Papers 3239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3239
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    Cited by:

    1. Marinah Awang & Ramlee Ismail & Suriani Abdul Hamid & Hamidah Yusof, 2016. "Intention to Leave among Self-initiated Academic Expatriate in Public Higher Education Institution," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(11), pages 142-158, November.
    2. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Jakubson, George H. & Martin, Mirinda L. & Main, Joyce B. & Eisenberg, Thomas, 2012. "Diversifying the faculty across gender lines: Do trustees and administrators matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 9-18.
    3. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Adam Smith Goes to College: An Economist Becomes an Academic Administrator," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 99-116, Winter.
    4. Clive Belfield & Celia Brown & Hywel Thomas, 2002. "Workplaces in the Education Sector in the United Kingdom: How do they Differ from those in Other Industries?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 49-69.
    5. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
    6. Pezzoni, Michele & Sterzi, Valerio & Lissoni, Francesco, 2012. "Career progress in centralized academic systems: Social capital and institutions in France and Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 704-719.
    7. Cheslock, John J. & Callie, Trina M., 2015. "Changing salary structure and faculty composition within business schools: Differences across sectors and state funding levels," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 42-54.
    8. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2002. "Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 8965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Fairweather, James S., 1995. "Myths and realities of academic labor markets," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 179-192, June.
    11. Byron W. Brown & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1995. "Gender Differences in Faculty Turnover," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-34, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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