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The Public Perception and Normative Valuation of Executive Compensation: An International Comparison

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  • Andreas Kuhn

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Abstract

This paper describes individuals' perceptions and normative valuations of executive compensation using comparable survey data for fifteen OECD member countries. An overwhelming majority of individuals (more than 90%) believes that top executives earn more than they actually deserve. However, there is also substantial variation in the actual and ethical levels of executive compensation, both within and across countries. The empirical analysis further shows that subjective estimates of executive pay are associated with objective measures of inequality and redistribution, and that individuals' perceptions and normative valuations of executive compensation are associated with their more general political preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kuhn, 2010. "The Public Perception and Normative Valuation of Executive Compensation: An International Comparison," NRN working papers 2010-13, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    executive compensation; subjective wage estimates; political preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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