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Long run trends in Australian executive remuneration: BHP 1887-2012

  • Mike Pottenger
  • Andrew Leigh

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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Paper provided by Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEH Discussion Papers with number 017.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:auu:hpaper:017
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  1. Carola Frydman & Raven E. Saks, 2010. "Executive Compensation: A New View from a Long-Term Perspective, 1936--2005," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 2099-2138.
  2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
  3. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2011 (Arabic)," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 394.
  4. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2011," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 392.
  5. Claudia Goldin & Robert A. Margo, 1991. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid- Century," NBER Working Papers 3817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2007. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(262), pages 247-261, 09.
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