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The Returns to Seniority in Academic Labor Markets

James Monks and Michael Robinson ()

Journal of Labor Research, 2001, vol. 22, issue 2, 415-427

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

Date: 2001
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