The Rewards of Poor Performance: CEO, Hedge Fund, and Private Equity Compensation

November 22, 2019

Dean Baker
American Affairs, Winter 2019 / Volume III, Number 4

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The story of upward redistribution over the last four decades is overwhelmingly a story of money going to high-end wage-earn­ers. While there has been a shift in income from wages to corporate profits in this century, it appears that this shift is being reversed in the tight labor market of the last four years. That means the money that didn’t go to ordinary workers instead went to high-end earners, and especially very high-end earners.

In particular, the money went to people like CEOs and hedge fund and private equity fund managers, people who often get paid tens of millions annually, and who can get paychecks in the hundreds of millions. These people have been the biggest winners in the last four decades.

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