Corporativism of Public Sector in Costa Rica

Costa Rican government employees earn up to 50% more than their peers in the private sector, and they have announced marches and strikes because they want to earn even more.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


In Costa Rica, a country of 4.5 million inhabitants of which 20% live in poverty, there are 1,600 government officials whose monthly salaries are over $10,000, some reaching up to $70,000 a month. The huge difference between state and private wages generates direct distortions in the labor market, and indirect ones in the work habits of the population.

In an article in, statements by union officials in the Costa Rican public sector are outlined, among other reasons to justify their salary demands, putting forward the argument of "acquired rights".

The government declared that the increase corresponding to January 2014 is 0.43 % for state officials, which has been described as very low and as a reason to organize a strike and street demonstration in order to demand a higher percentage. It is not that they want to be compensated for loss of real wages due to inflation, but they simply want to "earn more".

In reality, because of a perverse mechanism of "benefits", for a large majority the increase far exceeds the 0.43% decreed.

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