Norwegian managers have least spending power

Nov 26 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

You've battled your way up the career pole to secure an eye-watering salary and now you're going to spend it until all those minions below you are green with envy. Er, not if you live in Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg or Canada.

Research by consultancy Watson Wyatt has found that the buying power of senior managers in these four countries, compared with that of lowly administrators, is the narrowest of anywhere in the world.

Managers in Norway, for instance, have only 2.6 times more spending power than their junior administrative staff when comparing salaries, benefits, pensions and levels of taxation.

The gap between managers and workers in Mexico, at 21.3 times, was positively canyon-esque by comparison, calculated Watson Wyatt.

Adjusted for cost of living differences, on average Mexican senior managers had $348,218 of buying power, compared with $16,372 for Mexican administrators.

Out of the 50 countries polled, British managers came in 28th, with a gap of 5.4 times.

This was based on the average buying power of an administrator being equivalent to $32,408 (15,677) and that of a senior manager being at $174,553 (84,439), said Watson Wyatt.

The differential between senior managers and workers in the U.S was slightly narrower, at 4.4 times, putting it at number 36 on the list.

"Different pay and taxation structures are the main drivers of these differences," said Anne G Severeyns, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt.

"For example, the Nordic countries have high and progressive tax structures, while companies in most Latin American countries reward senior staff highly but are less generous towards more junior staff," she added.