The Economics of Being an Assistant Professor
This chapter may at first seem something of a grab-bag, since its concerns range from the problems of publishing a first book to planning retirement. While publishing the book may seem irrelevant to financial matters, you might not have such problems getting your book taken in time for a tenure decision were it not for the economics of humanities publishing. Furthermore, the probable future demand for subsidy makes the topic more money-oriented than it would have been a decade ago. Granting the somewhat miscellaneous nature of the topics here, I do not propose to force them to fit a procrustean framework. Book publishing involves more than economics and will be given its due. Following that will come retirement, the kinds of financial records you need to keep for tax time, and the long-term economic prospects for a humanities academic. As you compare two jobs, if you are lucky enough to have more than one offer, you will be looking hard at the economic implications of your choice: salary versus cost of living in those areas, percentage the school contributes toward retirement, the generosity of the benefits, the kinds of support available for faculty activities, research, and development. If you can foresee some of your needs in advance, you may be able to bargain for the school to meet them.
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