Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boards Use Peers to Inflate Executive Pay

Corporate boards appear to routinely use compensation peer groups to artificially inflate pay for their chief executives, helping to contribute to the cascading increases in executive compensation over the last several years, according to an academic study on corporate governance.

While the rate of pay increases was nearly 11 percent in one recent year, the study highlights one of the various ways that corporate boards go about determining huge compensation packages for executives.

Executive pay has increased substantially over the last few years. For example, in 1965 chief executives at major American companies earned 24 times more than a typical worker, while in 2007 they made 275 times more, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This sharp increase in income for chief executives, coming as wages for ordinary Americans remained relatively flat, has become one of the more perplexing questions in social science and business. Are chief executives that much more valuable now than they were 45 years ago?

Continue Reading @ NYT or read the study

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