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## The highest paying job in university?

It's a simple law of economics - anywhere that you get no points for coming second the reward is going to go up to whatever someone can pay.
In industry a worker that is 90% as productive as another is worth 90% the salary, in sport a team that scores 90% of the goals of the winner is worthless, same in court - a lawyer that 'almost' wins a case isn't worth anything.

 Quote by twofish-quant Part of the reason I don't think too much about explanations for how football coaches deserve large sums of money is that it sounds a bit too much about how bank CEO's deserve large sums of money.
I wasn't saying that they deserve more, just that it makes sense that they make more - which is why it would probably (although not necessarily) take policy / regulation to change things. Even when you're talking about business professors, the highest paid professors make nowhere near what they could be making outside academia.

Consulting seems to me to be more of a way to work outside the system than it is a part of academia itself.

 Quote by mgb_phys In industry a worker that is 90% as productive as another is worth 90% the salary, in sport a team that scores 90% of the goals of the winner is worthless
It really depends on the specifics of the industry. There are some "feast or famine" industries. Curiously physics academia tends to also be feast or famine.

 Same in court - a lawyer that 'almost' wins a case isn't worth anything.
They could be. Most areas of the law are not feast or famine industries. There is a lot of law that doesn't involve dispute resolution (i.e. contract drafting), and most dispute resolution involves negotiations in which both parties do whatever they can to stay out of court. Even cases that end up in court are rarely "either-or" propositions. It's usually the situation that everyone knows that A is going to end up in jail or that A is going to be paying B some large sum of money, the question is how many years and what the sum of money is. If you get sued for $50 million, and the lawyer gets it so that you "almost win" and you end up just having to pay$500,000, this is a pretty big victory.

Court cases are often long and expensive, and one sign of a good lawyer is that they will be able to give you advice that will keep you out of court, since with most court cases, you lose even if you win. How much the pay the lawyer is part of legal strategy.

The other thing about corporate legal cases is that they tend to be massive "team sports." You aren't dealing with one lawyer but rather dozens of them.

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 Quote by twofish-quant It really depends on the specifics of the industry. There are some "feast or famine" industries. Curiously physics academia tends to also be feast or famine.
Same thing applies in software, you have programmers that are 10x as good as others but no programmer earns 10x average wage.

I suppose it also depends on the sport, if you finish in the top half of the league and keep fans and sponsors happy, never win the cup - but only cost 0.1 as much you could be popular.
But if you are a millionaire sportsman accused of murdering your wife, you don't price shop for a defense lawyer!

 Quote by twofish-quant I wouldn't say it's a strange cultural obsession.
That is because you are embedded in the culture. Some cultures don't find cannibalism strange.

 Quote by twofish-quant One of the things that I found was that to do well outside of academia, you really have to rethink some of your beliefs about how the world works.
I haven't been in academia for 18 years.

 Quote by Choppy Or at least one should separate how the world actually works from how you believe it should work.
While you are right, the first step in making any significant change in the world is to not be content with the way things are.

 Quote by Sankaku That is because you are embedded in the culture. Some cultures don't find cannibalism strange.
True enough. On the other hand, someone once told me that the purpose of academic studies of cultures is the make the familiar unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar. One of the more interesting experiences is to look at how cultures (say the culture of physicists) behave from outside eyes.

 http://www.texastribune.org/library/...xas-at-austin/ I always find this one fun. Texas likes their sports. Top 10 salaries in approximate order: #1-5 coaches (not all head coaches) #6 athletics director guy #7 president of university #8 business dean #9 another assistant coach #10 Stephen Weinberg