Duke and UNC Med Schools Conspiring to Limit Faculty Salaries?

business_ethics_highlights_2Antitrust law has an economic, but also an ethical, rationale. Economically, it is intended to promote efficiency by reducing deadweight losses (Harberger costs). Ethically, it is intended to avoid the accumulation of market power that can be used to diminish the well-being of other market participants. Here, a Duke medical school faculty member alleges that Duke and UNC medical schools have entered into a non-competition pact to limit faculty salaries in the Research Triangle area, thereby diminishing the ability of faculty at the schools to earn competitive-market salaries. In effect, the claim is that Duke and UNC, through the pact, form a monopsony—a single purchaser of medical faculty labor in the Research Triangle area. >>>

LINK: Duke Professor Denied Job At UNC Brings Antitrust Lawsuit Alleging Non-Poaching Agreement Stifled Lateral Faculty Moves (by Paul Caron for TaxProf Blog)

A new antitrust lawsuit alleges much more than a neighborly understanding between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, however. The suit, brought against Duke by a medical faculty member there, rather alleges a binding no-hire agreement between the two Research Triangle institutions prevented her from getting a job at Carolina that otherwise would have been hers. The faculty member alleges there are others like her, and she’s proposed a class action.

Danielle Seaman, an assistant professor of radiology at Duke, says she’s been trying to get a job at Carolina for three years. She allegedly interviewed and was told by Carolina’s chief of cardiothoracic imaging in 2015 that her otherwise strong chance had been rejected because the respective deans of the medical schools at Carolina and Duke had a few years earlier formally agreed to not hire faculty members between institutions at the same rank, in order to control faculty salaries.

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