F. M. Scherer Photo

F. M. Scherer

Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management in the Aetna Chair, Emeritus
Scherer, F.M. "Managerial Control and Executive Compensation." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP19-002, January 2019.


This article analyzes the trajectory and causes of the explosion of American corporate CEOs’ compensation relative to that of average workers between 1958 and 2017. The historical data are presented and analyzed in more detail for 2016 and 2017. Important biases in alternative data sets are explored. Alternative hypotheses for the dramatic changes over time are proposed but not resolved. Among other things, the paper investigates the role of tax and other government policy changes and regulation-induced innovations in the organization of executive pay determination.