Canadian professors may best paid in world, but what about cost of living?

The latest project that looks at professorial paychecks shows that the United States lags behind Canada, India, Italy, and South Africa when it comes to the purchasing power of their salaries and academic fringe benefits, according to data compiled jointly by the Laboratory for Institutional Analysis from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the Boston College Center for International Higher Education. The data, which cover 28 countries, look only at full-time professors at a time when adjuncts are employed in greater numbers, and the data deal only with professors at public universities. The study, which will be released shortly as a book, evaluates the local purchasing power of those paychecks to rank countries, which could explain the high position of some. However, Canada has consistently reported the highest faculty salaries for years, mainly because most professors are unionized.

From Canadian Professors Are Best Paid in the World—Again | March 22, 2012 | The Global Ticker (blog) | The Chronicle of Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/blogs/global/canadian-professors-best-paid-in-the-world%E2%80%94again/32603.

The 2010 headline provided some sensationalism on Statistics Canada data.

Most tenured professors in Canada have salaries well above the $100,000 mark, according to the latest figures, covering pay data for 2007-8, from Statistics Canada. The highest-paid professors are at the University of Toronto, where they earn more than $150,000; closely following them are professors at the Universities of Calgary and of British Columbia. Canadian faculty members are highly unionized and have the highest starting salaries among academics in the world, exceeding pay scales for faculty members at American colleges and universities.

Reported as “Professors in Canada Continue to Get Big Bucks” | May 6, 2010 | Chronicle of Higher Education at http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/professors-in-canada-continue-to-get-big-bucks/23769

At the “International Comparison of Academic Salaries in 28 Countries” web page, look at the “Ratio of Monthly Academic Salaries at Public Universities to GDP per Capital Per Month“.

RATIO OF MONTHLY ACADEMIC SALARIES AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES TO GDP PER CAPITA PER MONTH, %*

Country Year Ratio of academic monthly salary to GDP per capita per month
Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Rank 4 Rank 5 Rank 6
Argentina 2010 32% 30% 25% 23%
Armenia 2009/10 academic year 12% 11% 9% 7%
Australia 2008 16% 13% 11% 8%
Brazil 2010 43% 40% 30% 20% 18%
Canada 2007/08 academic year 22% 17% 14% 13%
China 2008 15% 11% 10% 4%
Colombia 2008 47% 35% 27% 24% 23%
Czech Republic 2008 15% 12% 8% 6% 6% 10%
Ethiopia 2008 238% 207% 179% 154% 130%
France 2009 14% 11% 6%
Germany 2008 17% 14% 12% 13% 13%
India 2010 207% 190% 110%
Israel 2010 22% 17% 15% 12%
Italy 2009 30% 22% 16%
Japan 2007 13% 10% 9% 8% 8%
Kazakhstan May 2010 16% 11% 8% 7%
Latvia 2009/10 academic year 16% 12% 10% 8% 6%
Malaysia 2008 56% 29% 27% 20%
Mexico 2009 21% 18% 16% 14% 12% 10%
Netherlands 2008 15% 13% 10% 8%
Nigeria 2009 262% 217% 184% 116%
Norway 2008 9% 7% 8% 7%
Russia 2008 5% 4% 3% 2%
Saudi Arabia 2008 29% 25% 20% 15% 12%
South Africa 2008 107% 88% 74% 60% 45%
Turkey May 2010 36% 26% 22% 19% 20% 20%
United Kingdom 2006/07 academic year 22% 16% 14% 11%
United States 2008/2009 academic year 16% 13% 11%

I personally wouldn’t be interested in teaching positions in Nigeria, Ethiopia, India or South Africa.  The statistics for Canada and the UK look somewhat similar, with the U.S. behind.  Russians and Norwegians would seem to be the most underpaid in their societies.
Canadian Professors Are Best Paid in the World—Again - The Global Ticker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

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