Just desserts, or good luck?

Topic Selected: Business

General Article icon Type: General Article

Pay is a rarely discussed topic. In the UK it can be a social taboo to discuss your income or attitudes to your earnings, yet understanding what people earn and where we each sit in the pay hierarchy is an important part of understanding and engaging in our society. For this reason the High Pay Commission commissioned research to understand attitudes to pay. This report explores what top earners think about their pay. The research looked specifically at attitudes towards desert and luck; whether top earners understood where they sat in the income distribution; and whether they saw themselves as the ‘squeezed middle’ or felt that we were all ‘in it together’.
This qualitative study of high earners looks at the attitudes of those in the top 1% of the income distribution, and revealed some important issues.

Do we get what we deserve?

  • Many felt pay levels were determined by the market, by luck, and by ability to negotiate.
  • For

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