MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Long‐Run Trends in Australian Executive Remuneration: BHP, 1887–2012


Australian Economic History Review

Published online on


Outside the United States, little is known of long‐run trends in executive compensation. We fill this gap by studying BHP Billiton, a resources giant that has long been one of the largest companies on the Australian stock market. From 1887 to 2012, trends in CEO and director remuneration (relative to average earnings) follow a U‐shape. This matches the pattern for US executive compensation, Australian top incomes, and (for the past two decades) average trends in executive compensation in top Australian firms. Like the United States, Australia experienced a post‐war ‘great compression’ prior to the recent ‘great divergence’.