Public pension boards fear inciting stakeholder outrage if they compensate internal investment managers with market-level salaries. We derive theoretical implications in an agency-portfolio-choice model motivated by inequality aversion. In a global sample, relaxing the effect of outrage on contracting leads to an average annual incremental value-added of $49 million generated through 11 bps in higher excess returns from risky assets, at the cost of $302,429 in additional compensation. Governance reforms that address outrage by reducing political appointees or requiring independent skills-based boards can increase the annual value-added. These findings are orthogonal to costly political distortions from underfunding and pay-to-play schemes.
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