We examine the academe–industry wage gap. Once self- selection and different personal characteristics of academic and industrial scientists have been taken into account the wage gap narrows from 28 to 13 %. The counterfactual wage faced by an academic scientist increases with time spent on development and decreases with time spent on research. This finding challenges the idea of a solely negative relationship between science and wages. We further find that preferences for science augment the relationship between research orientation and wages. Overall, the results have implications for policy makers that aim to increase development oriented research activities at universities, individual scientists thinking about whether to pursue a career in industry or academe, and managers trying to hire academic scientists.