Wall Street Occupations

Wall Street Occupations

  • ULF AXELSON
  • PHILIP BOND

Article first published online: 3rd September 2015 DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12244

Abstract


Many finance jobs entail the risk of large losses, and hard‐to‐monitor effort. We analyze the equilibrium consequences of these features in a model with optimal dynamic contracting. We show that finance jobs feature high compensation, up‐or‐out promotion, and long work hours, and are more attractive than other jobs. Moral hazard problems are exacerbated in booms, even though pay increases. Employees whose talent would be more valuable elsewhere can be lured into finance jobs, while the most talented employees might be unable to land these jobs because they are “too hard to manage.”

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