Publication Date

May 2002


[Excerpt] The study of academic labor markets by economists goes back at least to Adam Smith’s suggestion in The Wealth of Nations that a professor’s compensation be tied to the number of students that enrolled in his classes. This paper focuses on three academic labor market issues that students at Cornell and I are currently addressing; the declining salaries of faculty employed at public colleges and universities relative to the salaries of their counterparts employed at private higher education institutions, the growing dispersion of average faculty salaries across academic institutions within both the public and private sectors, and the impacts of the growing importance and costs of science on the academic labor market and universities.


Suggested Citation
Ehrenberg, R. G. (2002). Studying ourselves: the academic labor market (CHERI Working Paper #23). Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.