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Globalization and Executive Compensation

Wolfgang Keller () and William Olney

No 2017-04, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: Employing comprehensive data on top executives at major U.S. companies, we show that their compensation is increasing with exports, as well as firm size and technology. Exogenous export shocks unrelated to managerial decisions also increase executive compensation, and there is little evidence that this is due to increasing returns to talent. We do find that export shocks primarily affect discretionary forms of compensation of more powerful executives at firms with poor corporate governance, as one would expect if globalization has enhanced rent-capture opportunities. Overall, globalization has been more important for the rapid growth of executive compensation and U.S. inequality than previously thought, with rent-capture playing a role.

Keywords: Inequality; Executive Compensation; Globalization; Exports (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 F14 F66 M12 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 71 pages
Date: 2017-04, Revised 2018-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-hrm, nep-int and nep-lma
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Working Paper: Globalization and Executive Compensation (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Globalization and Executive Compensation (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Globalization and Executive Compensation (2017) Downloads
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