College Professors

Kevin Williamson rants on college professors in an otherwise great article on market power:

A lot of the guys at Goldman Sachs do not have a lot of personal merit, Kim Kardashian has no detectable brainpower, and college professors are famous for their disinclination to hard work, but they all make a pretty good living.

College professors are not famous for their disinclination for work.  Most faculty work very hard (although folks may not like what they work at or be impressed by their efficiency) but the are very much subject to market power.  Elizabeth Warren and most of her comrades at Harvard do extremely well.  Here are the 10 highest paid professors. Faculty like them have individual market power.  In-demand disciplines like computer science, accounting, finance do relatively well at almost all larger schools.  They have discipline market power and perhaps some individual market power. has a few disciplines.  Remember that professors are at the top of the faculty pyramid.  Check assistant professors to see the growth over time.  Instructors that are not tenure-track are almost always paid less than professors.  Faculty at disciplines not in demand or at many smaller schools with limited market power are not doing well because they have very little market power.  Of course, part-timers are notoriously poorly paid.  The university faculty without market power are often making less than high school teachers.

We are supportive of the article but the college professor stuff is misleading.  College professors have the same market issues that everyone else has.


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