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YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 12:11 AM
Salary information is fairly easy to obtain on the internet. For example, many websites will lay out the average salary for various economists (think tank economists, economic consultants, academic economists, etc). However, I feel that the professor salary figures may be misleading, but then again maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

I imagine many professors are earning more than what the school is paying them. Anybody know of any resources which discuss the average academic economist's total income (besides the money just paid by the school)? Or does anybody have some idea of what is realistic in terms of additional income that professors make? For example, do profs make additional money over the summer via grants? Do profs make additional money for refereeing journals? What percentage of profs are working part-time in consulting, think tanks, other organizations, policy work, etc?

I guess I am wondering if maybe some of the websites unintentionally exaggerate the difference between professor salaries, and say economic consultant salaries. Like one website says the average econ consultant with a PhD makes about $127,000 per year, while the average associate prof makes about $77,000 per year.

SquareSquare
09-03-2007, 07:03 AM
Do profs make additional money for refereeing journals?

No.


I guess I am wondering if maybe some of the websites unintentionally exaggerate the difference between professor salaries, and say economic consultant salaries. Like one website says the average econ consultant with a PhD makes about $127,000 per year, while the average associate prof makes about $77,000 per year. Can you give a specific source? For professors their stated salary is usually for academic year, with some limited support during the summer (like teaching, grants). I don't think there's a reason why academic economists should be earning similar to consultants... those poor guys gotta travel all the time, a lot of time-pressure to finish projects, pressure to attract projects at a more senior level... just pressure in general, too.

Academic economists can be stressed out (if they want to be), but their formal obligations are pretty limited. Imo.

Zavera
09-03-2007, 04:26 PM
Economic consultants in Labor and I/O can make 200-500k

YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 05:33 PM
Academic economists can be stressed out (if they want to be), but their formal obligations are pretty limited. Imo.

I'm gonna have to disagree. I imagine that academics get stressed as well. There is a good deal of pressure to publish and I imagine it can be very stressful at times.

YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 05:33 PM
Economic consultants in Labor and I/O can make 200-500k

Are you sure? What is your source?

Zavera
09-03-2007, 08:26 PM
Are you sure? What is your source?
We have this one guy who only cares about the money, so he asked all of our profs how much they can make in consulting during our field meetings. The I/O was like "Ohh a lot, 120K min, sometimes 200K-500K"

The labor people said about the same thing but then added that consulting sucked and research ruled. Ohh lord:grad:

I should mention that they never said this is the average, they just said they "can" make this or that.

YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 09:14 PM
The labor people said about the same thing but then added that consulting sucked and research ruled. Ohh lord:grad:

Buy economic consultants do research.

VA_LAC
09-03-2007, 10:07 PM
Are there any real statistics for this. Most of this discuss seems to be "I know a guy who knows a guy who said..."

YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 10:17 PM
Are there any real statistics for this. Most of this discuss seems to be "I know a guy who knows a guy who said..."

Like I said, the stats I've seen say the average economic consultant with a PhD earns about $127,000 a year.

KingOfConvenience
09-03-2007, 11:21 PM
I'm not sure that includes bonuses and other perks.

YoungEconomist
09-03-2007, 11:31 PM
I'm not sure that includes bonuses and other perks.

That's true, but I don't know exactly what those bonuses and perks would be either.:hmm:

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 12:20 AM
Bonuses and perks for academics can include: a nice office, computer budget (i.e. you can spend on hardware/software), book budget, RA budget.

Again, academic economists get paid for 9 months so you should multiply their salary by 12/9, then add "academic perks" and it works out to about the same (using the numbers OP gave).


I'm gonna have to disagree. I imagine that academics get stressed as well. There is a good deal of pressure to publish and I imagine it can be very stressful at times.

As I was saying, "if they want to be" stressed then academic economists will be stressed. But this is pretty much a choice. If one wants to take it easy, he will avoid any of Top-50 schools, get a decent salary with relatively flexible teaching... If one wants to take it hard, well it's his or her choice.

Again, I hate giving untrackable information, but a recent top-5 (well... Chicago, haha) graduate said he accepted a job offer from top100 versus top20 AND it paid more! He said that there is of course prestige in working at a famous uni, but [his or her] friends at those unis were working weekends and late evenings just to get stuff published in time.

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 12:23 AM
OP: if you still want to satisfy your curiousity with some numbers check p.45 of this paper (http://www.aeaweb.org/joe/articles/2006/cawley.pdf). Actually, it should answer most of the questions here.

VA_LAC
09-04-2007, 12:28 AM
From Economist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economist)

"According to the United States Department of Labor there were 13,000 economists in the US with a median salary of roughly $72,780 with the top ten percent earning more than US$ 129,170 annually.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economist#_note-2) About 400 colleges (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College) and universities grant about 900 new Ph.D.s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Philosophy) in economics each year. The type of academic degree, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree had significant influence on an individuals job outlook and salary. While the overall expected job growth for economists remains below nation average, the demand for those with a Doctorate, especially those employed in the corporate sector, is expected to increase at a considerably faster pace.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economist#_note-The_Market_for_new_PhD_Economists_2002) Incomes were highest for those in the private sector, followed by the federal government with academia and high schools paying the lowest incomes. Median salaries ranged from $45,000 for those with a Bachelor to $85,000 for those with a Ph.D. in economics. A recent and continuous study by PayScale.com showed Economic consultants with a Ph.D. had the overall highest median income for any group making $116,250, the median salaries for an assistant professor was $63,500, for an associate professor it lay at $67,000 and $85,000 for a full professor. The overall median income for doctorates in academia was $75,000 compared to $125,000 in consulting and $87,000 in banking."

The median would be for an experienced economist.

YoungEconomist
09-04-2007, 12:30 AM
Again, I hate giving untrackable information, but a recent top-5 (well... Chicago, haha) graduate said he accepted a job offer from top100 versus top20 AND it paid more! He said that there is of course prestige in working at a famous uni, but [his or her] friends at those unis were working weekends and late evenings just to get stuff published in time.

I know it's only anecdotal, but any idea how much he makes there? Also, where is it located (I'm just trying to get a sense of the standard of living where he lives)? Furthermore, isn't there still a good deal of pressure to publish and work hard?

jbs02002
09-04-2007, 01:34 AM
Like I said, the stats I've seen say the average economic consultant with a PhD earns about $127,000 a year.

I think that's a little low. I work at CRAI, and the starting salary for a fresh PhD is about $120K plus bonus.

YoungEconomist
09-04-2007, 01:59 AM
I think that's a little low. I work at CRAI, and the starting salary for a fresh PhD is about $120K plus bonus.

Yeah, but isn't CRAI one of the top firms? By the way, what do you think ones chances of landing a job there after obtaining a PhD from a program ranked somewhere in the 30s or 40s?

jbs02002
09-04-2007, 02:37 AM
Yeah, but isn't CRAI one of the top firms? By the way, what do you think ones chances of landing a job there after obtaining a PhD from a program ranked somewhere in the 30s or 40s?

In all honesty, they're pretty slim. The sad thing about it is that even if you were the best candidate on merit alone, they'd probably go with someone else from the top ten. Clients would be hesitant to trust someone outside the top 20 or so. It's not really fair, but that's how it is.

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 02:57 AM
I know it's only anecdotal, but any idea how much he makes there? Also, where is it located (I'm just trying to get a sense of the standard of living where he lives)? Furthermore, isn't there still a good deal of pressure to publish and work hard?

Haha, I didn't ask him for the salary since it's a bit impolite. But based on what he was saying he was offered 80K at top 20 (hence he's got a bit more at top 100). The conversation took place in Spring 2005. There is a pressure and if he doesn't meet some requirements he'll be kicked out... but the pressure is not even nearly as high as at top 20, as he said back then.

YoungEconomist
09-04-2007, 03:05 AM
In all honesty, they're pretty slim. The sad thing about it is that even if you were the best candidate on merit alone, they'd probably go with someone else from the top ten. Clients would be hesitant to trust someone outside the top 20 or so. It's not really fair, but that's how it is.

Yeah, but how slim?

I have looked at many firms websites and the majority of there consultants come from top 20 programs. Buy I also see a good deal of people who get there PhD from lower ranked schools, such as, Texas A&M, George Washington University, University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, etc.

C152dude
09-04-2007, 03:07 AM
This has been posted before, but for starting salaries:

http://www.aeaweb.org/joe/articles/2004/cawley_2004.pdf

Here's another one I just found...

http://cber.uark.edu/data/aea/aea07-08.pdf

C152dude
09-04-2007, 03:20 AM
I have a file on my computer that says the following:

"This file contains the 9-month salaries for all full professors at what might be viewed as the 17 top economics public university departments in the United States, The salaries include all salary payments to the individual from the university, regardless of source."

1998-1999 2000-2001 2002-2003 2004-2005
Average $107,807 $123,704 $135,008 $146,448
MEDIAN $102,550 $123,196 $137,363 $146,852

I have no idea where I got this from.

Epictetus
09-04-2007, 06:05 AM
Regarding a post earlier about whether economists get paid for refereeing journals -- the answer given was "no", but I believe it is yes at least in some cases. A former editor of Econometrica told me that the editors make $20k for their work (presumably the top n editors, though I don't know where the cutoff is. So at least sometimes, journal-related efforts do add to salary, though perhaps it's not much given the work they put in, and it is certainly not true at all journals.

SquareSquare
09-04-2007, 07:06 AM
Regarding a post earlier about whether economists get paid for refereeing journals -- the answer given was "no", but I believe it is yes at least in some cases. A former editor of Econometrica told me that the editors make $20k for their work (presumably the top n editors, though I don't know where the cutoff is. So at least sometimes, journal-related efforts do add to salary, though perhaps it's not much given the work they put in, and it is certainly not true at all journals.

Editor and referee are different kinds of animal.

apropos
09-04-2007, 07:35 AM
Purdue published a complete listing of its professors' salaries this year. Salaries for economics professors start at about $90K and top at around $140K. Salaries for finance professors started at above $130K or so, if I remember correctly. Note that I have read recently in the campus newspaper that there is a concern that on average the salaries paid to Purdue's professors are lower than at the peer institutions (but then again, the cost of living in West Lafayette is lower too). I suppose that the pay at lesser research universities and small state universities is lower.

Ahh, gotta love counting other people's money when your assistantship stipend is about $14.5K :-)

VA_LAC
09-04-2007, 02:55 PM
UVA has published salary data by person for 2004. In the economics department, there were three lecturers making $31K, $63K, and $83K. There were nine assistant professors making between $71K and $80K. There were twelve full professors making between $89K and $132K. Finally, there was a jump in salaries and the remaining three full professors made between $150K and $169K.

shootermcgavin7
09-04-2007, 03:24 PM
Salaries for finance professors started at above $130K or so, if I remember correctly.


Apropos; if that number does not include summer funding, it is pretty much in line with most research schools.

SquareSquare
09-05-2007, 01:46 PM
An old joke that can allow one infer "how much do academic economists really make":


A Berkeley economist died and went to heaven (No, that's not the joke). There were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter. To his surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where the economist was, and greeted him warmly. St. Peter took the economist up to the front of the line, and into a comfortable chair by his desk. The economist said, "I like all this attention, but what makes ME so special?" St. Peter replied, "Well, I've added up all the hours for which you billed your consultation clients, and by my calculation you're 193 years old!"

YoungEconomist
09-05-2007, 01:49 PM
An old joke that can allow one infer "how much do academic economists really make":

Is it a coincidence that they picked a Berkeley professor?:hmm: I think not (or maybe I am just reading into the joke too much).

SquareSquare
09-05-2007, 02:25 PM
Is it a coincidence that they picked a Berkeley professor?:hmm: I think not (or maybe I am just reading into the joke too much).

Who did you have in mind? (I quote the joke from here (http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/jokec.html).)

YoungEconomist
09-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Who did you have in mind? (I quote the joke from here (http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/jokec.html).)

From some reason I thought they might be talking about David Teece the founder of LECG (Law and Economics Consulting Group) and professor at UC Berkeley. Below is a story that the Wall Street Journal did on him (this guy has made a killing as a consultant).

Sponsored by LECG and reprinted with permission 1-800-843-0008 (http://webreprints.djreprints.com/1674360221614.html)

SquareSquare
09-05-2007, 02:49 PM
I thought they might be talking about David Teece

LECG founded in 1988. Quite possible. Good lead!

econphilomath
09-05-2007, 08:34 PM
WOW not bad at all

From the article (for those too lazy to take a look)



For high-profile economists like the 58-year-old Prof. Teece, expert testimony has become a way to earn $2 million or more a year.