EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Capitalist income and hierarchical power: A gradient hypothesis

Blair Fix

No 2018/06, Working Papers on Capital as Power from Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism

Abstract: This paper offers a new approach to the study of capitalist income. Building on the "capital as power" framework, I propose that capitalists earn their income not from any productive asset, but from the legal right to command a corporate hierarchy. In short, I hypothesize that capitalist income stems from hierarchical power. Based on this thinking, I hypothesize that the capitalist fraction of an individual's income is a gradient function of hierarchical power (which I define as the number of subordinates under one's control). Using data from US CEOs, I find evidence that this is true. Furthermore, a hierarchical model of the United States that generalizes this data accurately reproduces many aspects of the US distribution of capitalist income, including the relation between income size and capitalist income fraction. This evidence suggests that the ownership structure of US society is closely linked to the hierarchical structure of firms. This has important implications for the study of income distribution.

Keywords: capitalist income; hierarchy; power; functional income distribution; personal income distribution; inequality; capital as power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D33 B5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/181667/1/1029204411.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:capwps:201806

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers on Capital as Power from Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

 
Page updated 2018-11-24
Handle: RePEc:zbw:capwps:201806