Dottore di ricerca

ciclo: XXXIV

co-supervisore: Michele Raitano

Titolo della tesi: Essays on Top Incomes in Labour Market

There is no consensus on what causes the increasing inequality in labour markets. In this thesis, we review the literature concerning this issue and find out that two contrasting theories exist: market-based theories and institutions-based theories. But, since neither has been fully validated by the empirical evidence, we suggest that they should rather be seen as two complementary explanations of the increase in top labour earnings. In this context, we study two categories of Italian workers, known to be characterized by high levels of within-inequality and by the presence of “working super-rich”: licensed liberal professionals and managers. In the first case, our results might be interpreted as evidence in support of rent extraction. In the second case, we find that both performance and power have a role in determining the compensation of listed firms’ directors and managers, although we do not find conclusive evidence on which driver prevails.

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