Cheap Labor Is Key to U.S. Research Productivity

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Science  03 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5433, pp. 1519-1521
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5433.1519

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The low pay for postdocs has been a boon to U.S. research universities, and most senior scientists freely admit that postdocs' expertise and commitment are crucial to the research enterprise. But why are their salaries so low, when according to economic theory pay scales for such valuable workers should be determined by supply and demand? And is it fair that postdocs get so little financial reward for their contributions?