Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: 
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Working Papers on Capital as Power No. 2017/03
Forum on Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism, s.l.
This paper proposes a new ‘power theory’ of personal income distribution. Contrary to the standard assumption that income is proportional to productivity, I hypothesize that income is most strongly determined by social power, as indicated by one’s position within an institutional hierarchy. While many theorists have proposed a connection between personal income and power, this paper is the first to quantify this relation. I propose that power can be quantified in terms of the number of subordinates below one’s position in a hierarchy. Using this definition, I find that relative income within firms scales strongly with hierarchical power. I also find that hierarchical power has a stronger effect on income than any other factor for which data is available. I conclude that this is evidence for a power theory of personal income distribution.
income distribution
URL of the first edition: 
Creative Commons License: 
cc-by-nc-nd Logo
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
4.43 MB

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.