Close window
  MPIfG Öffentlicher Vortrag | Public Lecture

Donnerstag, 3. Juli 2014 | 17 Uhr (s.t.)

The Financial Labor Market and Inequality

Olivier Godechot, MaxPo, Sciences Po



High wages in finance, first seen as exotic phenomena, are now a major concern in western societies and are viewed as inherently linked to the latest financial booms and crashes. Recent studies show that finance contributed in the long run to the rise in inequality in France, a trend that is at odds with developments in most western countries. Some economists have attributed this phenomenon to a talent-demultiplying superstar mechanism, a view that can be challenged by focusing on the job micro-mechanisms that generate inequalities, such as moveable asset appropriation and strategic leverage of social capital. It can be argued that analyzing these mechanisms, which are especially visible in finance but exist in other sectors as well, is a key to gaining a more general understanding of exploitation in late capitalism.

Olivier Godechot is codirector of the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies and professor at Sciences Po, Paris. His studies are devoted to labor markets, wages, networks, and recruitment with a special interest in two fields: finance and academic labor markets. He is the author of “Les Traders“ (2001) and “Working Rich” (2007). He recently published “Is Finance Responsible for the Rise in Inequality in France?“ in the Socioeconomic Review.


Selected publications
  • Financiarisation et fractures socio-spatiales (L'année sociologique 63(1), 17-50, 2013; English version forthcoming).
  • Is finance responsible for the rise in wage inequality in France? (Socio-Economic Review 10(2), 1-24, 2012).
  • Getting a Job in Finance-The Strength of Collaboration Ties (Document de travail du Crest 2010-42, 2010).
  • "Hold-up" in finance: the conditions of possibility for high bonuses in the financial industry (Revue française de sociologie 49, Supplement Annual English Edition, 95-123, 2008).
  • What do heads of dealing rooms do? The social capital of internal entrepreneurs (in: Mike Savage/Karel Williams (eds.), Remembering Elites, Blackwell Publishing, "The Sociological Review", 2008).
  • Der Finanzsektor als Feld des Kampfes um die Aneignung von Gewinnen (in: Jens Beckert/Rainer Diaz-Bone/Heiner Ganßmann (eds.), Märkte als soziale Strukturen, 267-279, Campus 2007).


Close window