Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo

Institute for Compensation Studies

abstract collage representing compensation studies

The Institute for Compensation Studies™ (ICS) at Cornell University's ILR School is an interdisciplinary center that researches, teaches and communicates about monetary and non-monetary rewards from work, and how these rewards influence outcomes for individuals, companies, industries, and economies.

The Institute for Compensation Studies supports the creation of new knowledge, thought-provoking discussion of employer practices, and better informed public discourse through its applied and translational workplace-focused research that bridges between academics and practice.


abstract depiction of data

Employment Cost Index Commentary

The Employment Cost Index (ECI) reports changes in employers’ costs of compensation, wages, and benefits. ICS’ commentary on the ECI provides useful interpretation of this quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Read the current ECI Commentary to learn more

Missing alt

ICS at Digital Commons

A vehicle for interdisciplinary research on compensation, compensation design and compensation strategy, ICS strives to be the central repository for academic research on compensation worldwide. Interested researchers are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration.

Explore the ICS working paper series

Recent Publications in Compensation Studies

Research Fellows and ICS faculty and staff contribute to a wide array of publications exploring forms of pay and pay “mix”, equity, the role of organizational strategy, labor unions, public policy, and regulation, and the evolving form of paid work.

Explore Publications in Compensation Studies

Professional Education

The Institute for Compensation Studies has partnered with eCornell to offer the Compensation Studies Certificate focused on Total Rewards to attract, motivate, and retain top talent.. This four-course certificate program provides confidence and skills to articulate key compensation factors within your organization, consider compensation needs, assess the effectiveness of what you have in place, and align those needs with your organizational strategy and goals.

abstract texture
Discover our professional education programs

Student Engagement

The Institute for Compensation Studies offers students from across Cornell University an interdisciplinary research, classroom and internship community focused on probing and analyzing the full spectrum of issues and challenges surrounding rewards from and incentives to work. Learn more about our student opportunities and rising talent.

Find out more about our student engagement

ICS research student pens insights on pay dispersion

Junhyuk Oh MILR '20 conducted a literature review on how leadership can support a dispersed pay structure by sustaining positive outcomes.
Cover image of a student spotlight story.
ICS research student pens insights on pay dispersion

Chelsea Pan ILR '21

Student Researcher at the Institute for Compensation Studies
Cover image for Chelsea Pan's Testimonial.
Chelsea Pan ILR '21

Juliana Rich ILR '21

Student Researcher at the Institute for Compensation Studies
Cover image for Juliana Rich's testimonial, relevant to her research in nurses' compensation.
Juliana Rich ILR '21

ICS Blog: Latest News and Events

See all ICS news stories

2021 Fourth Quarter

Civilian workers’ compensation costs 12-month growth rate of 4.0 percent growth is the highest in 20 years.
Close up image of US currency. Photo by <a href="">Adam Nir</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
2021 Fourth Quarter

2021 Third Quarter

Although varying by occupation and sectors, compensation witnesses record-high growth increase in 17 years.
ECI commentary 2021 Q3 cover image
2021 Third Quarter

2021 Second Quarter

Propelled by rising private sector compensation, ECI growth rate recovers to pre-pandemic level.
Cover image of 2021 Q2 commentary.
2021 Second Quarter