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.

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