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The "top-tier" growth of pay inequality in Britain: A comparative and longitudinal analysis.

Belfield, Richard Alexander (2009) The "top-tier" growth of pay inequality in Britain: A comparative and longitudinal analysis. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the recent growth in pay inequality in Britain that can be traced to change at the top of the distribution. It takes a broad perspective on the subject that draws on insights generated across multiple branches of social science, and tests these insights against comparative data. It argues ultimately that top-tier growth in British pay inequality is strongly connected to rising demand for the skills of upper-and middle-managers created by the reshaping of production systems in British organizations. On the way to this conclusion, the thesis addresses three main research questions: 1. What lies behind the apparent 'top pay' bias in pay inequality growth in Britain since the 1990s. The thesis tests multiple explanations for the distributional bias observed in Britain in comparative perspective. It concludes that rising pay inequality at the top in Britain is connected to an apparent increase in relative demand for certain types of manager that is specific to that country. 2. Have organizational governance factors contributed to the rise in pay inequality at the top. It is tested whether the apparent rise in relative demand for managers in Britain is in fact a byproduct of shifting patterns of organizational governance. The empirical analysis finds little evidence that governance factors have contributed greatly to the rise in pay inequality at the top. 3. Have changes in production systems contributed to the apparent rise in relative demand for managers in Britain. The thesis tests the idea that recent changes in the typical approach to production have made certain types of manager relatively more valuable to British organizations. It finds firm evidence that this is the case, and that this trend has contributed to the rise in top-tier pay inequality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Management
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2329

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