Technological Change and the Growing Inequality in Managerial Compensation
Hanno N. Lustig
Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
University of Chicago Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
New York University Stern School of Business, Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
August 7, 2010
NYU Working Paper No. FIN-08-044
Three of the most fundamental changes in US corporations since the early 1970s have been (1) the increased importance of organizational capital in production, (2) the increase in managerial income inequality and pay-performance sensitivity, and (3) the secular decrease in labor market reallocation. Our paper develops a simple explanation for these changes: A shift in the composition of productivity growth away from vintage-specific to general growth. This shift has stimulated the accumulation of organizational capital in existing firms and reduced the need for reallocating workers to new firms. We characterize the optimal managerial compensation contract when firms accumulate organizational capital but risk-averse managers cannot commit to staying with the firm. A calibrated version of the model reproduces the increase in managerial compensation inequality and the increased sensitivity of pay to performance in the data over the last three decades.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Date posted: March 9, 2009 ; Last revised: August 10, 2010
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