Academic Salaries and Public Evaluation of University Research: Evidence from the UK Research Excellence Framework

57 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016 Last revised: 9 Oct 2018

See all articles by Gianni De Fraja

Gianni De Fraja

University of Nottingham; Universita' di Roma; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Giovanni Facchini

University of Nottingham

John Gathergood

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 30, 2018

Abstract

We study the effects of public evaluation of university research on the pay structures of academic departments. A simple model of university pay determination shows how the pay-performance relationship can be explained by the incentives inherent in the research evaluation process. We then analyse the pay-performance relationship using data on the salary of all UK university full professors, matched to the performance of their departments from the 2014 UK government evaluation of research, the Research Excellence Framework (REF). A cross sectional empirical analysis shows that both average pay level and pay inequality in a department are positively related to performance. It also shows that the pay-performance relationship is driven by a feature of the research evaluation that allows academics to transfer the affiliation of published research across universities. To assess the causal effect of the REF on pay structure, we take advantage of the time dimension of our data and of quasi-experimental variation in the performance of academic departments generated by the research evaluation rules. Our results indicate that higher achieving departments benefit from increased future hiring and higher professorial salaries with the salary benefits of REF performance concentrated among the highest paid professors.

Keywords: Research evaluation, Research funding, Research Excellence Framework.

JEL Classification: D47, H42, I28, L30

Suggested Citation

De Fraja, Gianni and Facchini, Giovanni and Gathergood, John, Academic Salaries and Public Evaluation of University Research: Evidence from the UK Research Excellence Framework (September 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2815174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2815174

Gianni De Fraja (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Universita' di Roma ( email )

Dipartimento SEFEMEQ
Via Columbia n.2
Rome, Rome 00133
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/docenti

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Giovanni Facchini

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

John Gathergood

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

Sir Clive Granger Building
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/gathergoodjohn/

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