Nation of Beancounters

India pays professors more than the US does

Posted in Indian Variables, Measurement by Navin Kumar on March 23, 2012

Via Marginal Revolution:

Canada comes out on top for those newly entering the academic profession, average salaries among all professors and those at the senior levels. In terms of average faculty salaries based on purchasing power, the United States ranks fifth, behind not only its northern neighbor, but also Italy, South Africa and India.

If this seems strange, remember two things:

1. This is adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity: the interpretation is that a newly appointed professor in India leads a better lifestlye (due to the cheaper haircuts, transport, food, rent, what-have-you) than a similar professor in the US.

2.  As Tyler Cowen reminds us, the rockstar academics make crazy money for lending their prestige, which Indian academics do not:

 this is not covering the extreme right hand tail of top faculty salaries in top U.S. universities, but rather a measured mean from public institutions.

More here.

UPDATE: 3. The measure is only of public instituitions which are prominent in India, but not in the US. The impact of this is ambiguous:

Excluding private higher education means that the colleges and universities with the highest salaries are not in the American averages, but private higher education also includes many small colleges that pay on the low end of the scale.


One Response

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  1. Ritwik said, on March 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    India actually outstrips the US not in the entry rank, but in the ‘top rank’, i.e. ‘Full’ Professor. This is about $7500/month, a tad higher than the US salary.

    And yes, the public vs private differential is important for India.

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