Executive pay has increased dramatically in relation to most workers over the past 30 years, said the High Pay Centre.
The think tank called on the Government to take radical action on top pay, warning the gap in wages was creating a "deep sense of unfairness".
The research found that in 1998, the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company was paid 47 times more than their average worker.
The figure is now 143 times, with some executives paid even more.
High Pay Centre director Deborah Hargreaves said: "It creates a deep sense of unfairness. Britain's executives haven't got so much better over the past two decades. The only reason why their pay has increased so rapidly compared to their employees is that they are able to get away with it.
"The Government needs to take more radical action on top pay."
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Unless we get to grips with growing pay inequality, the same old rich elites will hog the benefit of economic growth for themselves while millions of working people will miss out."
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said the Government has introduced reforms to give shareholders powers to restore the link between top pay and performance.