Debunking the myth of the overcompensated public employee

The research in this paper investigates whether state and local public employees are overpaid at the expense of taxpayers. This research is timely. Thirty-seven states are struggling with substantial budget deficits. Several governors have identified excessive public employee compensation as a major cause of their states’ fiscal duress. The remedies they propose include public employee pay freezes, benefits reductions, privatization, major revisions to the rules of collective bargaining, and constitutional amendments to limit pay increases, each as a necessary antidote to the supposed public employee overpayment malady. "Debunking the myth of the overcompensated public employee: The Evidence” by Jeffrey Keefe. Published Sept. 15, 2010, Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper no. 276. Reprinted by permission.