The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

567. Minoru Nakazato, J. Mark Ramseyer & Eric B. Rasmusen, Executive Compensation in Japan: Estimating Levels and Determinants from Tax Records, 12/2006; subsequently published in Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 20, No. 1, Fall 2011, 843-885.

Abstract: Most studies of executive compensation have data on pay, but not on total income.  Studies of executives in Japan do not even have good data on pay.  Although we too lack direct data on Japanese salaries, from income tax filings we compile data on total executive incomes, and from financial records obtain some indication of which executives have substantial investment income.  We find that Japanese executives earn far less than U.S. executives -- holding firm size constant, about one-third the pay of their U.S. peers.  Using tobit regression analysis, we further confirm that executive pay in Japan depends on firm size, with an elasticity of .24, but not on accounting profitability or stock returns. Corporate governance variables such as board composition have little or no effect on executive compensation, except that firms with large lead shareholders do appear to pay less.

567 PDF