In Are CEOs paid for performance? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Equity Incentives, a new study from MSCI, researchers compared the salaries of 800 US CEOs of large and medium-sized companies to the returns to their shareholders during their tenure.
They found that high CEO pay did not correlate with higher returns, and that the lowest-paid CEOs "more consistently displayed higher long-term investment returns" and that "The highest paid had the worst performance by a significant margin."
But of course, these CEOs pack their boards with other CEOs, who benefit from nudging up the average CEO compensation.
The study, carried out by corporate research firm MSCI, found that for every $100 (£76) invested in companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 (£202) over 10 years.
But the same amount invested in the companies with the lowest-paid CEOs would have grown to $367 (£279) over a decade.