Thursday, August 28, 2014

In faculty recruitment, consider the cost of living and, for someone from Kansas, the high cost of leaving

There are lots of caveats in comparing the cost of living in various places.  However, the map above - which compares the value of $100 across all states with its value in each state is a good reminder when you consider faculty salary comparisons that are typically in nominal dollars.  The map tells you that if you move from California to Kansas, the same salary would buy you about one fourth more (111.23/88.57 = 1.26). [Click on the map to enlarge.]

Obviously, there are variations within California with more rural areas having lower costs.  You can find an interactive map for metropolitan statistical areas at None the less, the bulk of UC faculty live in areas with higher-than-average costs of living, a fact that can lead to understatement of salary lags.

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