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Long-Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP, 1887–2012

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  • Mike Pottenger
  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

Outside the US, little is known of long-run trends in executive compensation. We fill this gap by studying BHP, a resources giant that has long been one of the largest companies on the Australian stock market. From 1887 to 2013, trends in CEO and director remuneration (relative to average earnings) follow a U-shape. This matches the pattern for US executive compensation, Australian top incomes, and (for the past two decades) average trends in executive compensation in top Australian firms. Like the US, Australia experienced a post-war 'great compression' prior to the recent 'great divergence'.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mike Pottenger & Andrew Leigh, 2016. "Long-Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP, 1887–2012," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(1), pages 2-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ozechr:v:56:y:2016:i:1:p:2-20
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/aehr.12065
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeff Borland & Michael Coelli, 2016. "Labour Market Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(299), pages 517-547, December.
    2. Monica Keneley, 2020. "Reflections on the Business History Tradition: Where has it Come from and Where is it Going to?," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 60(3), pages 282-300, November.
    3. Doojav, Gan-Ochir & Losol, Bayarmaa, 2015. "CEO share compensation, incentives, and business cycle: Some evidence from BHP Billiton," MPRA Paper 107458, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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