Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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Despite the magnitude and variety of benefits paid to faculty, there has been little attention given to these benefits. It is important to evaluate how and why faculty benefits vary by institution. In this study, I focused on the levels of benefits provided by four-year institutions to faculty. The study relied on institution-level data from NCES and the AAUP on faculty salaries and benefits spanning the period from 1980 to 2021. Separate analyses were conducted for retirement benefits, health benefits, and total benefits, with the time periods for specific analyses depending on data availability which varied over this time frame. Overall, the study documents how faculty benefits have changed over time, and whether benefits in dollar and percentage terms were related to selected characteristics of the faculty and the institutions where they work.


benefits, faculty

Working Paper Number



The project described received funding from the TIAA Institute and Wharton School’s Pension Research Council/Boettner Center. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the TIAA Institute or Wharton School’s Pension Research Council/Boettner Center.

Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and does not represent official views of the above-named institutions. © 2023 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


Toutkoushian would like to thank Glenn Colby and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for providing access to the data on faculty benefits used in this study.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 26 May 2023