Monday, March 7, 2011

Wells on Executive Compensation

We have previously noted a very nice paper by Harwell Wells, Temple University School of Law, on the controversy over executive compensation in the 1930s, which was published last year in the University of Richmond Law Review. Wells now takes a wider view in U.S. Executive Compensation in Historical Perspective, which will appear in Research Handbook on Executive Compensation, ed. Jennifer Hill & Randall Thomas (Elgar Press, 2011). Here is the abstract:
Executive compensation is one of the central issues of modern corporate governance, but its history has received surprisingly little attention. This draft chapter . . . surveys the development of, and conflicts over, U. S. executive compensation across the twentieth century, paying particular attention to political, social, and legal contexts sometimes underplayed in accounts more tightly focused on pay level and composition. It closes by identifying several as-yet unresolved puzzles raised by the history of executive compensation.