IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/rbnkwp/0313.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Since you’re so rich, you must be really smart”: Talent and the Finance Wage Premium

Author

Listed:
  • Böhm, Michael

    () (University of Bonn)

  • Metzger, Daniel

    () (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Strömberg, Per

    () (SIFR)

Abstract

Relative pay in the financial sector has experienced an extraordinary increase over the last few decades. A proposed explanation for this pattern has been that the demand for skilled workers in finance has risen more than in other sectors. We use Swedish administrative data, which include detailed cognitive and non-cognitive test scores as well as performance in high-school and university, to examine the implications of this hypothesis for talent allocation and relative wages in the financial sector. We find no evidence that the selection of talent into finance increased or improved, neither on average nor at the top of the talent distribution. A changing composition of talent or their returns cannot account for the surge in the finance wage premium. These findings alleviate concerns about a “brain drain” into finance at the expense of other sectors, but they also suggest that rents in finance are high, increasing, and largely unexplained.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0313
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.riksbank.se/Documents/Rapporter/Working_papers/2015/rap_wp313_151210.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Håkanson, Christina & Lindqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2015. "Firms and Skills: The Evolution of Worker Sorting," Working Paper Series 1072, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2012. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Finance Industry: 1909--2006," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1551-1609.
    5. 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.
    6. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    7. Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-668, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2008. "Transitions: Career and Family Life Cycles of the Educational Elite," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 363-369, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Erik Grönqvist & Erik Lindqvist, 2016. "The Making of a Manager: Evidence from Military Officer Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 869-898.
    13. 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.
    14. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    15. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    16. 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.
    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. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    19. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    20. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
    21. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
    22. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2002. "Upstairs, Downstairs: Computers and Skills on Two Floors of a Large Bank," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 432-447, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Caggese, Andrea & Cuñat, Vicente & Metzger, Daniel, 2019. "Firing the wrong workers: Financing constraints and labor misallocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(3), pages 589-607.
    2. Hvide, Hans K. & Oyer, Paul, 2017. "Dinner Table Human Capital and Entrepreneurship," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3658, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Finance wage premium; talent allocation; wage inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    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:hhs:rbnkwp:0313. 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: (Lena Löfgren). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rbgovse.html .

    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 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.

    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.