IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ajk/ajkdps/147.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

“Since You’re So Rich, You Must Be Really Smart”: Talent, Rent Sharing, and the Finance Wage Premium

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Böhm & Daniel Metzger & Per Strömberg, 2022. "“Since You’re So Rich, You Must Be Really Smart”: Talent, Rent Sharing, and the Finance Wage Premium," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 147, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:ajk:ajkdps:147
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econtribute.de/RePEc/ajk/ajkdps/ECONtribute_147_2022.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2022
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    2. Fatih Guvenen & Greg Kaplan & Jae Song, 2014. "How Risky Are Recessions for Top Earners?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 148-153, May.
    3. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2009. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within Plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 217-260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Oleg Chuprinin & Denis Sosyura, 2018. "Family Descent as a Signal of Managerial Quality: Evidence from Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(10), pages 3756-3820.
    5. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
    7. Audra Bowlus & Eda Bozkurt & Lance Lochner & Chris Robinson, 2017. "Wages and Employment: The Canonical Model Revisited," NBER Working Papers 24069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David Card & Jörg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Workplace Heterogeneity and the Rise of West German Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 967-1015.
    9. Ulf Axelson & Philip Bond, 2015. "Wall Street Occupations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1949-1996, October.
    10. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    11. David Hummels & Jakob R. Munch & Chong Xiang, 2018. "Offshoring and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 981-1028, September.
    12. Jan Babecký & Philip Du Caju & Theodora Kosma & Martina Lawless & Julián Messina & Tairi Rõõm, 2010. "Downward Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity: Survey Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 884-910, December.
    13. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Martin Nybom & Björn Öckert, 2022. "The Rising Return to Noncognitive Skill," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 78-100, April.
    14. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    15. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    16. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    17. Carl Shapiro, 2019. "Protecting Competition in the American Economy: Merger Control, Tech Titans, Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 69-93, Summer.
    18. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    19. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    20. Francis Kramarz & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2014. "When Strong Ties are Strong: Networks and Youth Labour Market Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 1164-1200.
    21. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    22. Thomas Philippon, 2015. "Has the US Finance Industry Become Less Efficient? On the Theory and Measurement of Financial Intermediation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1408-1438, April.
    23. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    24. Steven N. Kaplan & Joshua Rauh, 2010. "Wall Street and Main Street: What Contributes to the Rise in the Highest Incomes?," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Governance, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Stéphane Bonhomme & Thibaut Lamadon & Elena Manresa, 2019. "A Distributional Framework for Matched Employer Employee Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(3), pages 699-739, May.
    26. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2014. "Finance and the Preservation of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1221-1254.
    27. Jae Song & David J Price & Fatih Guvenen & Nicholas Bloom & Till von Wachter, 2019. "Firming Up Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(1), pages 1-50.
    28. Marco Pagano & ESRB Advisory Scientific Committee, 2014. "Is Europe Overbanked?," mBank - CASE Seminar Proceedings 132, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    29. Thibaut Lamadon & Magne Mogstad & Bradley Setzler, 2022. "Imperfect Competition, Compensating Differentials, and Rent Sharing in the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(1), pages 169-212, January.
    30. Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
    31. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    32. McLaughlin, Kenneth J & Bils, Mark, 2001. "Interindustry Mobility and the Cyclical Upgrading of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 94-135, January.
    33. David J. Deming, 2017. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1593-1640.
    34. Axelson, Ulf & Bond, Philip, 2015. "Wall Street occupations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37448, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    35. Cavaglia, Chiara & Etheridge, Ben, 2020. "Job polarization and the declining quality of knowledge workers: evidence from the UK and Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105819, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    36. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee, 2011. "Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2309-2349, October.
    37. Patrick Bolton & Tano Santos & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2016. "Cream-Skimming in Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(2), pages 709-736, April.
    38. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
    39. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    40. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 24(Win), pages 14-23.
    41. Peter Fredriksson & Lena Hensvik & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2018. "Mismatch of Talent: Evidence on Match Quality, Entry Wages, and Job Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3303-3338, November.
    42. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    43. Joanne Lindley & Steven Mcintosh, 2017. "Finance Sector Wage Growth and the Role of Human Capital," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(4), pages 570-591, August.
    44. Chang‐Tai Hsieh & Erik Hurst & Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2019. "The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(5), pages 1439-1474, September.
    45. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    46. Paul Oyer, 2008. "The Making of an Investment Banker: Stock Market Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2601-2628, December.
    47. Godechot, Olivier, 2015. "Financialization is marketization! A study on the respective impact of various dimensions of financialization on the increase in global inequality," MaxPo Discussion Paper Series 15/3, Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo).
    48. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
    49. Guido Matias Cortes, 2016. "Where Have the Middle-Wage Workers Gone? A Study of Polarization Using Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 63-105.
    50. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    51. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
    52. Lemieux, Thomas & Riddell, W. Craig, 2015. "Top Incomes in Canada: Evidence from the Census," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2015-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Jul 2015.
    53. Brian D. Bell & John Van Reenen, 2013. "Extreme Wage Inequality: Pay at the Very Top," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 153-157, May.
    54. Cavaglia, Chiara & Etheridge, Ben, 2020. "Job polarization and the declining quality of knowledge workers: Evidence from the UK and Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    55. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/5qjkarlp3e8a2a40vbqo698d3v is not listed on IDEAS
    56. Pian Shu, 2015. "Innovating in Science and Engineering or "Cashing In" on Wall Street? Evidence on Elite STEM Talent," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-067, Harvard Business School, revised Nov 2016.
    57. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    58. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    59. Josh Bivens & Lawrence Mishel, 2013. "The Pay of Corporate Executives and Financial Professionals as Evidence of Rents in Top 1 Percent Incomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 57-78, Summer.
    60. B Biais & A Landier, 2020. "Endogenous Agency Problems and the Dynamics of Rents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(6), pages 2542-2567.
    61. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863, Elsevier.
    62. Martin F. Hellwig, 2018. "Competition Policy and Sector-Specific Regulation in the Financial Sector," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2018_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Böhm, Michael Johannes & Metzger, Daniel & Strömberg, Per, 2022. ""Since You're So Rich, You Must Be Really Smart": Talent, Rent Sharing, and the Finance Wage Premium," IZA Discussion Papers 15337, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Böhm, Michael & Metzger, Daniel & Strömberg, Per Johan, 2018. ""Since you're so rich, you must be really smart": Talent and the Finance Wage Premium," CEPR Discussion Papers 12711, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ata Can Bertay & Jose Gabo Carreno & Harry Huizinga & Burak Uras & Nathanael Vellekoop, 2022. "Technological Change and the Finance Wage Premium," Working Papers tecipa-738, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    4. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "Finance and the Misallocation of Scientific, Engineering and Mathematical Talent," Sciences Po publications 27, Sciences Po.
    5. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/510i09nqpa8gfpt7na72sknq4q is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Giovanni Gallipoli & Khalil Esmkhani & Michael Böhm, 2019. "Skill-Biased Firms and the Distribution of Labor Market Returns," 2019 Meeting Papers 1199, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    8. Böhm, Michael Johannes & Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & Schran, Felix, 2019. "Occupation Growth, Skill Prices, and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12647, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Böhm, Michael & Metzger, Daniel & Strömberg, Per, 2015. "Since you’re so rich, you must be really smart”: Talent and the Finance Wage Premium," Working Paper Series 313, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    10. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "Finance and the Misallocation of Scientific, Engineering and Mathematical Talent," Sciences Po publications 27, Sciences Po.
    11. David J. Deming, 2017. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1593-1640.
    12. Christina Håkanson & Erik Lindqvist & Jonas Vlachos, 2021. "Firms and Skills: The Evolution of Worker Sorting," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(2), pages 512-538.
    13. Di Addario, Sabrina & Kline, Patrick & Saggio, Raffaele & Solvsten, Mikkel, 2020. "It Ain't Where You're From, It's Where You're At: Hiring Origins, Firm Heterogeneity, and Wages," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6191m92m, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    14. Jason Sockin, 2022. "Show Me the Amenity: Are Higher-Paying Firms Better All Around?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9842, CESifo.
    15. Marta Lachowska & Alexandre Mas & Raffaele D. Saggio & Stephen A. Woodbury, 2020. "Do Firm Effects Drift? Evidence from Washington Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 26653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Schaefer, Daniel & Singleton, Carl, 2017. "Recent changes in British wage inequality: Evidence from firms and occupations," MPRA Paper 76744, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Hamid Boustanifar & Everett Grant & Ariell Reshef, 2016. "Wages and human capital in finance: international evidence, 1970-2005," Globalization Institute Working Papers 266, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    18. Jae Song & David J Price & Fatih Guvenen & Nicholas Bloom & Till von Wachter, 2019. "Firming Up Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(1), pages 1-50.
    19. Moser, Christian & Saidi, Farzad & Wirth, Benjamin & Wolter, Stefanie, 2020. "Credit Supply, Firms, and Earnings Inequality," MPRA Paper 100371, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    21. Lochner, Benjamin & Schulz, Bastian, 2020. "Firm productivity, wages, and sorting," IAB-Discussion Paper 202004, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industry Wage Premia; Talent Allocation; Rent Sharing; Earnings Inequality; Compensation in Financial Sector;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ajk:ajkdps:147. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.econtribute.de .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ECONtribute Office (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.econtribute.de .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.