Does better pay make better politicians?

Jun 30, 2017

Sections Public Policy Video

In the private sector, salary is one of an employer's most effective tools for attracting top talent. Does the same hold for legislators? A group of researchers including Chicago Booth's Emir Kamenica examined how a change in compensation affected the willingness of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to run for reelection. They find that better pay had a significant effect on MEPs' interest in being reelected—but only for those with a relatively poor education, who also tend to be less productive than their colleagues.