When Workers Know Exactly How Much More Money CEOs Make, Will Anything Change?

The debate over whether America’s CEOs are overpaid is rich in data and poor in context. In an annual rite, newspapers compile lists of the previous year’s highest-earning executives, think tanks compute just how much more CEOs make than the average worker, and then both sides of the debate use those standalone figures to serve their purposes: Workers who struggle to pay their bills can’t imagine how their time could be worth so much less than someone else’s, while business leaders and corporate-governance professors remain convinced that executives, like movie stars or professional athletes, have specialized skill sets that deserve tremendous compensation.

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