“Since You’re So Rich, You Must Be Really Smart”: Talent, Rent Sharing, and the Finance Wage Premium
Michael Böhm (),
Daniel Metzger () and
Per Strömberg ()
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Michael Böhm: University of Bonn, IZA, and Swedish House of Finance
Daniel Metzger: Erasmus University of Rotterdam, SHoF, ECGI, and Financial Markets Group
Per Strömberg: Stockholm School of Economics(SSE), SHoF, ECGI, and CEPR
No 147, ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series from University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany
Financial sector wages have increased extraordinarily over the last decades. We address two potential explanations for this increase: (1) rising demand for talent and (2) firms sharing rents with their employees. Matching administrative data of Swedish workers, which include unique measures of individual talent, with financial information on their employers, we find no evidence that talent in finance improved, neither on average nor at the top. The increase in relative finance wages is present across talent and education levels, which together can explain at most 20% of it. In contrast, rising financial sector profits that are shared with employees account for up to half of the relative wage increase. The limited labor supply response may partly be explained by the importance of early-career entry and social connections in finance. Our findings alleviate concerns about “brain drain” into finance but suggest that finance workers have captured rising rents over time.
Keywords: Industry Wage Premia; Talent Allocation; Rent Sharing; Earnings Inequality; Compensation in Financial Sector (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G20 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-eur, nep-hrm and nep-lma
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ajk:ajkdps:147
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