Recent work by economic historians shows people that while CEO pay has risen dramatically since the 1990s, such a trend was all but nonexistent from World War II through the mid-1970s. Imagine coming upon an article in a prestigious business publication titled "Another Decade of Deterioration in Top Executive Pay Compared to the Economy as a Whole." Its author, Arch Patton, reports data from a set of more than 400 "top managers" from 1953-1964. What is particularly startling is the size of the deterioration relative to the average. People know from piles of recent evidence that executive compensation has increased rapidly over the past generation. Carola Frydman and Raven (Malloy) Saks have a rich and interesting research program on the long-run aspects of CEO pay. One paper from this body of work is "Executive Compensation: A New View from a Long-Term Perspective, 1936-2005".

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