How Much Sunlight Does It Take To Disinfect A Boardroom? A Short History Of Executive Compensation Regulation

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Executive Summary

This paper reviews the history of executive compensation disclosure and other government policies affecting CEO pay and surveys the literature on the effects of these policies. CEOs are almost exclusively in the top 1 percent of the pay distribution, and regulation of their pay is seen as a well-targeted way of reducing income inequality. Mandatory disclosure of executive compensation has increased nearly uniformly since 1933. A number of other regulations, including special taxes on CEO pay and rules regarding votes on some pay packages have also been introduced, particularly in the last 20 years.

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