Skip to main content
The impact of merit-pay systems on the work and attitudes of Mexican academics
Higher Education (2013)
  • Jesús F. Galaz-Fontes
  • Manuel Gil-Antón

The central purpose of this work is to present data that evaluates the impact and perspectives of various merit-pay systems directed at Mexican academics. To this end a brief description is provided of recent Mexican higher education evolution, including that of merit-pay programs. It is proposed that faculty merit-pay systems, in the context of several institutional performance-based funding programs, and of a general conditional cash transfer approach to the distribution of public funding, have created a de facto suprainstitutional academic rank ladder based on the academic’s participation in the highly prestiged and well-remunerated National researcher’s System (SNI), and on the academic’s highest degree (HD). Data is presented showing that increasing SNI–HD ranks are associated with less teaching, more research, stronger academic preference for research activities and less institutional involvement. Several collateral negative side-effects of this situation are highlighted and questions are posed in relation to the long-range pertinence of merit-pay systems with the characteristics that are current in the case of Mexican higher education.

  • Academics,
  • Merit-pay systems,
  • academic work,
  • higher education,
  • Mexico
Publication Date
Winter February 5, 2013
Citation Information
Jesús F. Galaz-Fontes and Manuel Gil-Antón. "The impact of merit-pay systems on the work and attitudes of Mexican academics" Higher Education (2013)
Available at: