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Professors’ salaries in U.S. economics departments (1), 1964/5-1965/66

 

 

From my March 2017 expedition to the Johns Hopkins University archives’ collection of material from the Department of Political Economy, I came across one of those documents that help to provide an empirical baseline for the history of the market for economics professors. It is worth savouring the sets of tables one by one. In all, this so-called “cartel” summary with information collected from 29 departments in October 1965 consists of eight sets of tables.

On the last page of this summary for full-professor salaries can be found the name of the presumable compiler of the tables: Francis M. Boddy, Graduate School, University of Minnesota. It is dated December 21, 1965.

Two documents later in the same folder I found the list of 30 members of the Chairmen’s Group, dated December 13, 1965. With 29 responses to the salary questionnaire from which the “cartel” data have been assembled, it leaves only to guess which department did not report back to the “cartel”. I do believe that the ironic self-designation of cartel is not entirely contrary to functional fact here.

The salary distributions across the participating departments for associate professors, assistant professors, and for the starting salaries for newly minted Ph.D. hires have been posted in the meantime. Also there is a table of the anticipated (as of December 1965) range of salaries to hire freshly completed PhD’s for the coming academic year, 1966-67.

Using the BLS web CPI Inflation calculator, one can inflate nominal levels (say for December 1965, the date of the report) to April 2017 using a factor of 7.69.

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About Francis M. Boddy

Boddy, Francis M, 1115 Bus. Admin., West Bank, Dept. of Econs., U. of Minn., Minneapolis, MN 55455. Phone: Office (612)373-3583;Home (612)926-1063. Fields: 020, 610. Birth Yr: 1906. Degrees: B.B.A., U. of Minn., 1930; M.A., U. of Minn., 1936; Ph.D., U. of Minn., 1939. Prin. Cur. Position: Prof. Emer. Of Econs., U. of Minn. At Twin Cities. 1975-. Concurrent/Past Positions: Acting Exec. Secy., Bd. Of Investment, State of Minn., 1978-79; Assoc. Dean of Grad. Sch. U. of Minn., 1961-73.

Source: “Biographical Listing of Members.” The American Economic Review 71, no. 6 (1981): p. 67.

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Research Hint:
Boddy’s data go back to 1957/58

“I have, over the past six years, conducted an informal survey of some 30 of the leading departments of economics in the country, defined largely as being those departments which have been major producers of Ph.D.’s in economics.”

Source:  Boddy, Francis M. “The Demand for Economists.” The American Economic Review 52, no. 2 (1962): 503-08.

 

Also of interest from about the same time is the AER Supplement:

Tolles, N. Arnold, and Emanuel Melichar. “Studies of the Structure of Economists’ Salaries and Income” The American Economic Review 58, no. 5 (1968):

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MEMBERS OF THE CHAIRMEN’S GROUP, 1965-66
December 13, 1965

  1. Professor Gerard Debreu
    University of California
    Berkeley, California 94720
  2. Dean R. M. Cyert
    Carnegie Institute of Technology
    Pittsburgh 13, Pennsylvania
  3. Professor Arnold C. Harberger
    University of Chicago
    1126 East 59th Street
    Chicago 37, Illinois
  4. Professor Carl McGuire
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, Colorado
  5. Professor William Vickrey
    Columbia University
    New York 27, New York
  6. Professor Douglas F. Dowd
    Acting Chairman
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, New York
    (Professor Frank H. Golay, the Chairman, is on leave in 1965-66.)
  7. Professor Robert S. Smith
    Duke University
    Durham, North Carolina
  8. Professor John Dunlop
    Harvard University
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
  9. Professor John F. Due
    University of Illinois
    Urbana, Illinois 61803
  10. Professor George Wilson
    Indiana University
    Bloomington, Indiana 47405
  11. Professor Karl A. Fox
    Iowa State University
    Ames, Iowa 50010
  12. Professor Carl F. Christ
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland
  13. Professor Robert F. Lanzilotti
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, Michigan
  14. Professor Warren L. Smith
    University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  15. Professor E. Cary Brown
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge 39, Massachusetts
  16. Professor Emanuel Stein
    New York University
    New York 3, New York
  17. Professor John Turnbull
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  18. Professor Ralph W. Pfouts
    university of North Carolina
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  19. Professor Robert Eisner
    Northwestern University
    Evanston, Illinois
  20. Professor Paul G. Craig
    Ohio State University
    Columbus, Ohio
  21. Professor Irving B. Kravis
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia 4, Pennsylvania
  22. Professor Richard A. Lester
    Princeton University
    Princeton, New Jersey
  23. Dean Emanuel T. Weiler
    Purdue University
    Lafayette, Indiana
  24. Professor Lionel McKenzie
    University of Rochester
    Rochester 20, New York
  25. Professor Edward S. Shaw
    Stanford University
    Stanford, California
  26. Professor Carey Thompson
    University of Texas
    Austin, Texas
  27. Professor James W. McKie
    Vanderbilt University
    Nashville, Tennessee
  28. Professor Alexandre Kafka
    Acting Chairman
    University of Virginia
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    (Professor Warren Nutter, the Chairman, is on leave in 1965-66.)
  29. Professor David B. Johnson
    University of Wisconsin
    Madison, Wisconsin
  30. Professor Raymond Powell
    Yale University
    New Haven, Connecticut

 

Source: Johns Hopkins University. The Ferdinand Hamburger, Jr. Archives. Department of Political Economy, Series 5, Box 6, Folder 2 “Statistical Information”.

 

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CARTEL
SUMMARY of the October-1965 Questionnaire to Departments of Economics in the United States

SUMMARY of the salary (1965-66 and 1964-65 academic years, 9-10 month basis) and other data of 29 (out of 29) Departments of Economics. N = Number of Departments reporting.

 

TABLE 1c
PROFESSORS 1965-66, 1964-65

(1)
Median Salaries
All Professors

MID-POINT
OF RANGE

1965-66

1964-65

Over 20,249

2 1
20,000 4

0

19,500

0 1
19,000 3

1

18,500

2 3
18,000 2

1

17,500

3 1
17,000 2

4

16,500

2 4
16,000 1

4

15,500

2 0
15,000 2

1

14,500

0 2
14,000 3

1

13,500

0 1
13,000 1

4

N=

29 29
Median $17,500

$16,500

Mean

$17,377

$16,319

 

 

TABLE 1c
PROFESSORS 1965-66, 1964-65

(2)

Average Salaries
“Superior Professors”
(Top 1/3)

MID-POINT
OF RANGE

1965-66

1964-65

Over 23,749

3 1
23,500 2

0

23,000

0 0
22,500 3

0

22,000

1 2
21,500 4

3

21,000

1 2
20,500 4

2

20,000

0 3
19,500 2

2

19,000

2 4
18,500 1

0

18,000

3 1
17,500 1

2

17,000

0 0
16,500 2

1

16,000

0 4
15,500 0

1

15,000

0 0
14,500 0

1

14,000

0 0
N= 29

29

Median

$20,600 $19,500
Mean $20,677

$19,093

 

 

TABLE 1c
PROFESSORS 1965-66, 1964-65

(3)

Average Salaries
“Average Professors”
(Lower 2/3)

MID-POINT
OF RANGE

1965-66

1964-65

Over 18,749

4 2
18,500 0

1

18,000

3 1
17,500 1

1

17,000

3 1
16,500 3

2

16,000

5 8
15,500 1

4

15,000

2 1
14,500 1

1

14,000

2 0
13,500

2

2

13,000

1 4
12,500 1

0

12,000

0 1
11,500 0

0

N=

29 29
Median $16,100

$15,390

Mean

$16,192

$15,119

 

Source: Johns Hopkins University. The Ferdinand Hamburger, Jr. Archives. Department of Political Economy, Series 5, Box 6, Folder 2 “Statistical Information”.

Image: From left to right: Monopolies, Uncle Sam, Trusts.

Taylor, Charles Jay, Artist. In the hands of his philanthropic friends / C.J. Taylor. , 1897. N.Y.: Published in Puck, March 10, 1897. . Retrieved from the Library of Congress, . (Accessed May 12, 2017). https://www.loc.gov/item/2012647652/

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier