The Efficiency of Tenure Contracts in Academic Employment

33 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2015

See all articles by Bruce Cater

Bruce Cater

Trent University

Byron Lew

Trent University

Marcus Pivato

THEMA, CY Cergy Paris Université

Date Written: October 17, 2015

Abstract

Academic research is a public good whose production is supported by the tuition- paying students that a faculty’s research accomplishments attract. A professor’s spot contribution to the university’s revenues thus depends not on her spot research production, but rather on her entire cumulative research record. We show that, under a broad range of education market conditions, a profit-maximizing university will apply a high minimum retention standard to the research production of a junior professor who has no record of past research, but a zero minimum standard to the spot production of a more senior professor whose background includes accomplishments sufficient to have cleared the high probationary hurdle. But if and when education market conditions change, tenure-based contracts may cease to be optimal.

Keywords: tenure, academic employment, academic research

JEL Classification: I23, J41

Suggested Citation

Cater, Bruce and Lew, Byron and Pivato, Marcus, The Efficiency of Tenure Contracts in Academic Employment (October 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2675582

Bruce Cater (Contact Author)

Trent University ( email )

1600 West Bank Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8
Canada

Byron Lew

Trent University ( email )

Gzowski, 348
1600 West Bank Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9L 0G2
Canada
(705) 748-1011 ext. 7897 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.trentu.ca/blew

Marcus Pivato

THEMA, CY Cergy Paris Université ( email )

33 Boulevard du Port
Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, Cedex 95011
France

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

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
72
Abstract Views
528
rank
388,110
PlumX Metrics