William W. Olney
Department of Economics
Williamstown, MA 01267
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2017||Globalization and Executive Compensation|
with Wolfgang Keller: w23384
This paper identifies globalization as a factor behind the rapid increase in executive compensation and inequality over the last few decades. Employing comprehensive data on top executives at major U.S. companies, we show that compensation is higher at more global firms. We find that pay responds not only to firm size and technology but also to exports conditional on other firm characteristics. Export shocks that are not related to the executive's talent and actions also increase executive compensation, indicating that globalization is influencing compensation through pay-for-non-performance. Furthermore, this effect is asymmetric, with executive compensation increasing due to positive export shocks but not decreasing due to negative shocks. Finally, export shocks primarily affect discreti...