Daniel Finkelstein looks at how the market for pay works for those at the very top, and how campaigners are trying to use the same process to raise pay for those at the bottom.
Very high pay and very low pay have always been controversial areas - never more so now in the wake of the credit crunch.
In this first part of 'Can Pay, Will Pay', Danny Finkelstein of The Times investigates why pay at the top has got so high. Is it all about bankers' bonuses? Do bonuses even work? And is the market working properly, or do social norms just mean that lots of highly-paid people can't say 'no' to lots of other highly-paid people?
And he hears from campaigners for the very lowest-paid workers who want to use similar social norms to boost pay at the bottom. How successfully are they persuading local authorities, individual businesses, and central government, of their case?
Producer: Giles Edwards.
You are at the first episode