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

  • Andreas Kuhn


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    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.

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    Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2010-13.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_13
    Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
    Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
    Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
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    19. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
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