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Money, time, and output: how academics get to be highly paid

In Europe, the top researchers do the most administrative work. That may weaken the continent’s appeal, says Marek Kwiek.

The received wisdom is that the academics who produce the most research are rewarded with the highest salaries. Elite status and high earnings then bring the freedom to put research before teaching and administrative duties. Academics at the start of their careers learn that highly productive researchers are highly respected, and are paid by their universities accordingly.

But nearly all that we know about the relationships between attitudes, earnings and productivity in academia comes from the United States, which has a 50-year tradition of such studies. It is open to question what these findings tell us about systems elsewhere.

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