Do Nice Gals Finish Last?

April 26, 2010  |  

(NYTimes.com) — How strongly is pay linked to productivity? Conventional economic theory tells us that people earn more when they contribute more to society — competitive markets should reward intelligence, effort and innovation.

But many high earners seem disconnected from this idealized picture. Top banker bonuses soared even as bank profits tanked and public bailouts materialized. Over the last 30 years, the top 1 percent of American families seems to have increased its share of total income much faster than its share of productive contributions.

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