Research incentives and research output
This paper first briefly reviews the worldwide development of the size of the university sector, its research merits and authorities’ use of incentive systems for its academic staff. Then, the paper develops a static model of a researcher’s behaviour, aiming to discuss how different salary reward schemes and teaching obligations influence his or her research merits. Moreover, special focus is placed on discussing the importance of the researcher’s skills and of working in solid academic environments for quality research. The main findings are as follows: First, research achievements will improve irrespective of the relative impact quantity and quality of research have on researchers’ salaries. Second, small changes in fixed salary and teaching duties will not influence the amount of time academics spend on research and, as such, their research merits. Third, because research productivity, i.e. the number of pages written and research quality increase with the researcher’s skills and effort, both these figures signal a researcher’s potential when adjusting for his or her age and the kind of research carried out. Finally, because researchers’ utility depends on factors beyond salary and leisure time, employers have a number of instruments to use in order to attract skilled researchers in a globalised market.