Long Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP 1887-2012

29 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2013

See all articles by Mike Pottenger

Mike Pottenger

University of Melbourne

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Abstract

Outside the US, little is known of long-run trends in executive compensation. We fill this gap by studying BHP, a resources giant that has long been one of the largest companies on the Australian stock market. From 1887 to 2013, trends in CEO and director remuneration (relative to average earnings) follow a U-shape. This matches the pattern for US executive compensation, Australian top incomes, and (for the past two decades) average trends in executive compensation in top Australian firms. Like the US, Australia experienced a post-war 'great compression' prior to the recent 'great divergence'.

Keywords: executive remuneration, inequality, income distribution

JEL Classification: D31, J31

Suggested Citation

Pottenger, Mike and Leigh, Andrew, Long Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP 1887-2012. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7486, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2293303

Mike Pottenger (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, 3053

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

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