nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒15
one paper chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Because You're Worth It? Determinants of Vice Chancellor Pay in the UK By James Walker; Peder Greve; Geoff Wood; Peter Miskell

  1. By: James Walker (Henley Business School, University of Reading); Peder Greve (Henley Business School, University of Reading); Geoff Wood (Essex Business School, University of Essex); Peter Miskell (Henley Business School, University of Reading)
    Abstract: There is increasing pressure on universities to deliver social and economic impact from their work in an increasingly market and metric driven environment. Within the UK, increasing financial pressure has led to both an escalation of student fees, and constrained wage growth for rank and file faculty and administrators. In contrast, most Vice-Chancellors have secured substantive pay packages raising concerns as to the extent to which regulatory failures may be contributing to the rise. Against this backdrop, there is little empirical evidence of what has driven recent changes in V-C remuneration. Here we bring data from a panel of British universities. We find some measures of institutional performance, internal governance and individual characteristics are related to V-C pay and that these differ significantly between 'old' and 'new' universities. We find evidence that V-Cs will use their internal power within organisations to extract a disproportionate amount of the value created by the institution. However, we do not find that the presence of VCs on remuneration committees had a robust influence on salary. We also find that greater transparency is associated to higher rates of remuneration.
    Keywords: pay, governance, metrics, performance, public sector, universities, Vice-Chancellors
    Date: 2018–07

This nep-sog issue is ©2019 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.