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May 05, 2005



Once upon a time:
Me "I've been offerred an assistant lectureship, Dad."
Him "Are you going to take it?"
Me "I think I might."
Him, phoning back the next day "I've looked up the salary. They're paying you on the assumption that you've got a private income. I can tell you, you haven't."


Are these comparisons right? I have £1400 in 1945 equating to about £36-38K today, which seems more reasonable (and less than the current incumbent of that post would get). I think your £122k figure is based on per capita GDP; it's the salary that someone on £1400 in 1945 would have got if their wages had remained a constant proportion of percapita GDP. Which of course it wouldn't, since we did not strike oil in the LSE. When you compare sums of money in "today's prices" values, you usually use a price index, not a GDP index.


I raised the sums in line with average earnings, rather than with the CPI. The point was to show what academics would earn today, if their pay had kept pace with other earners.
I think you might argue that lecturers should earn around this money, as their productivity might have increased since 1945. There's 60 years' more stuff to teach, staff-student ratios have fallen, and graduate earnings have risen relative to non-grads, all of which is evidence of rising productivity. And isn't the boycott of Israeli academics evidence of the old saying that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys?

Devil's Kitchen

Um, surely that merely shows -- since there is no shortage of people aplying for academic posts today -- that we were paying them way too much in the 1940s.

Ain't that how the market works?


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