Center for Public Policy Studies

Marek Kwiek in “Science and Public Policy” – on “Academic Top Earners”, or highly paid academics across Europe

June, 2017

Marek Kwiek published a new paper in Science and Public Policy (Oxford University Press): “Academic Top Earners. Research productivity, prestige generation, and salary patterns in European universities“. Science and Public Policy, 2017, 1–13. doi: 10.1093/scipol/scx020.

Science and Public Policy is a leading international journal on public policies for science, technology and innovation. It covers all types of science and technology in both developed and developing countries.


This article examines highly paid academics—or top earners—employed across universities in tenEuropean countries based on large-scale international survey data regarding the academic profession. It examines the relationships between salaries and academic behaviors and productivity, as well as the predictors of becoming an academic top earner. While, in the Anglo-Saxon countries, the university research mission typically pays off at an individual level, in Continental Europe, it pays off only in combination with administrative and related duties. Seeking future financial rewards solely through research does not seem to be a viable strategy in Europe, but seeking satisfaction in research through solving research puzzles is also becoming difficult, with the growing emphasis on the ‘relevance’ and ‘applicability’ of fundable research. Thus, both the traditional ‘investment motivation’ and ‘consumption motivation’ to perform research decrease, creating severe policy implications. The primary data come from 8,466 usable cases.

The paper is here. Or can be downloaded from ResearchGate here.

His previous paper for Science and Public Policy was published in 2012: “Changing higher education policies: From the deinstitutionalization to the reinstitutionalization of the research mission in Polish universities“. Sci Public Policy (2012) 39 (5): 641-654. DOI:, and can be dowloaded here.