February 10, 2010

High trees in the polder; globalisation and top incomes in the Netherlands

Groei topbeloningen het hoogst bij beursgenoteerde ondernemingen

Press release
Sinds eind jaren negentig groeien topbeloningen harder dan gemiddeld. Bestuurders van grote, niet-financiële ondernemingen zonder beursnotering verdienen steeds meer omdat de bedrijfsomvang toeneemt. Bij beursgenoteerde ondernemingen is de groei van topbeloningen sterker en komt deze slechts gedeeltelijk door een toename in bedrijfsomvang.

We are sorry, unfortunately there is no English translation of this page.

The income share of the 0.1% of the population with the highest income remains small when compared to other countries. This CPB Document analyses the causes of the growth of top wages in the Netherlands.

The pay of top executives working for about 600 large firms in the Netherlands grew by 5.8% nominally per year between 1999 and 2005 on average. Of this growth, after a deduction of 2.9 %-points inflation, 2.6 %-points of this pay growth can be explained by an increase in average firm size, and 0.2 %-points by the ageing of executives.

Executive pay growth of listed companies was 8.9% per year which is higher than average executive pay growth. 4.8 %-points of this growth can be explained by inflation, firm growth and ageing; 3.9 %-points remain unexplained. On average, listed companies pay their executives 25% to 52% more than comparable companies without a listing on the stock market. The pay difference between firms with and without an Anglo-Saxon owner diminishes.

Companies with an Anglo-Saxon owner pay their executives 20% more than comparable companies with an owner from a non-Anglo-Saxon country. Executive pay growth among firms with an Anglo-Saxon owner is 4% per year, which is lower than average. The share of foreign executives remains constant on average, although it declines for firms with an Anglo-Saxon owner.

This publication is in Dutch.


Bas Straathof
J.S.M. Groot