IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wages and Human Capital in Finance: International Evidence, 1970–2011


  • Ariell Reshef

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Hamid Boustanifar

    (BI Norwegian Business School [Oslo])

  • Everett Grant

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)


We study the allocation and compensation of human capital in the finance industry in a set of developed economies in 1970-2011. Finance relative wages generally increase---but not in all countries, and to varying degrees. Trading-related activities account for 50% of the increases, despite accounting for only 13% of finance employment, on average. Financial deregulation is the most important factor driving up wages in finance; it has a larger effect in environments where informational rents and socially inefficient risk taking are likely to be prevalent. Differential investment in information and communication technology does not have causal explanatory power. High finance wages attract skilled international immigration to finance, raising concerns for "brain drain."

Suggested Citation

  • Ariell Reshef & Hamid Boustanifar & Everett Grant, 2017. "Wages and Human Capital in Finance: International Evidence, 1970–2011," Post-Print hal-01472400, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01472400
    DOI: 10.1093/rof/rfx011
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Annalisa Scognamiglio, 2020. "Careers in Finance," EIEF Working Papers Series 2007, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2021.
    3. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald & Kampkötter, Patrick & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2018. "Bank Bonus Pay as a Risk Sharing Contract," HEC Research Papers Series 1285, HEC Paris.
    4. Asano, Koji, 2021. "Managing Financial Expertise," MPRA Paper 107665, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Jen-Wen Chang & Simpson Zhang, 2018. "Competitive Pay and Excessive Manager Risk-taking," Working Papers 18-02, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    6. Zhu, Xiaoyang & Asimakopoulos, Stylianos & Kim, Jaebeom, 2020. "Financial development and innovation-led growth: Is too much finance better?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    7. Prachi Mishra & Ariell Reshef, 2019. "How Do Central Bank Governors Matter? Regulation and the Financial Sector," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(2-3), pages 369-402, March.
    8. Giraud, Gaël & Grasselli, Matheus, 2021. "Household debt: The missing link between inequality and secular stagnation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 901-927.
    9. Arabela ICHIM & Mihaela NECULITA & Daniela Ancuta SARPE, 2018. "Drivers and consequences of income inequality," Risk in Contemporary Economy, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, pages 208-214.
    10. Ugo Panizza, 2018. "Nonlinearities in the Relationship Between Finance and Growth," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(1), pages 44-53, March.
    11. Nolan, Brian & Richiardi, Matteo & Valenzuela, Luis, 2018. "The Drivers of Inequality in Rich Countries," MPRA Paper 89806, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Lutz G. Arnold & Sebastian Zelzner, 2020. "Welfare Effects of the Allocation of Talent to Financial Trading: What Does the Grossman-Stiglitz Model Say?," Working Papers 190, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    13. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Ctirad Slavik & Faisal Sohail, 2019. "Financial Liberalization and Income Inequality: On the Heterogenous Effects of Different Reforms," 2019 Meeting Papers 895, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Francesco D'Acunto & Laurent Frésard, 2018. "Finance, Talent Allocation, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 6883, CESifo.


    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:hal:journl:hal-01472400. 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: .

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.