But the study by the Institute for Research on Public Policy says that wage growth isn't clearly tied to talent or performance.
Professors Thomas Lemieux and W. Craig Riddell of the University of British Columbia looked at the top one per cent of incomes between 1981 and 2011.
Their research says the majority of the so-called one percenters are men over 35 who tend to work longer hours than average, usually in senior management positions.
In 2011, the income cutoff for the top one per cent of incomes was $160,000.
Lemieux and Riddell say their overall research looked at the top one per cent of incomes between 1981 and 2011, but because of changes to the Census, they stopped comparing some data after 2006.
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