How the Rich are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class (Revised)

How the Rich are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class (Revised)
Fix, Blair. (2019). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2019/02-V2. October. pp. 1-66. (Article - Working Paper; English).


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Abstract or Brief Description

This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and functional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordinates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the poor and capitalists from workers. Specifically, I hypothesize that individual income increases with hierarchical power, as does the share of individual income earned from capitalist sources. I test this idea using evidence from US CEOs, as well as a numerical model that extrapolates the CEO data. The results indicate that income tends to increase with hierarchical power, as does the capitalist composition of income. This suggests that hierarchical power may be a determinant of both personal and functional income.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


capital as power class functional income distribution hierarchy inequality personal income distribution power


BN Power
BN Region - North America
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Class
BN Comparative
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Distribution
BN Industrial Organization
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

01 Dec 2019 22:34

Last Modified

17 Dec 2019 17:12


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