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August 22, 2005



Remember there's also much greater freedom over pay-setting in US universities (at least, a lot of the top end ones) - didn't Barro pick up a Chair paying $400,000 a few years back? Plus, a lot of them offer free or discounted tuition for your children, which at an Ivy League school is the equivalent of a six figure sum.

Arnold Kling

Academics has managed to create a super high class--the tenured Ivy League professor; and a super low class--the adjunct professor. In terms of prestige--which is the locus of competition in academia--there is very little to be had outside the top schools. Academics is a pyramid with a small top and a large low base (with the adjuncts below the base, in the basement as it were).

In business, there is much more of a middle class (middle managers) and there is nothing in business that corresponds to the low status of the Ph.D adjunct--someone with lots of qualifications and no income or status.


In the US, I find the 'brightest' people tend to be drawn to the private sector while those who can just regurgitate information go into academia or the public sector. This is just a general observation based on my own experience. I know very bright people in academia and dullards in business and, even then, a lot of business people don't tend to follow up on things that aren't profitable. Also, one's own experience is limited and colored by one's world view.

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