Tempus Edax Rerum: Measuring the Incumbency Advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives

Rodrigo Praino, Daniel Stockemer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Many studies provide valuable insight on the electoral incumbency advantage; however, little work provides insight or an organized theory for how such an advantage develops for career politicians. We develop such a theory, arguing that to understand the incumbency advantage at the time of an electoral victory, it is necessary to consider the length of each specific congressional career. We find that the total share of the incumbent vote received has a curvilinear relationship with the number of years any House Member spends in office. Our findings also result in a better understanding of the incumbency advantage in the U.S. then previous conceptualizations and allows for comparisons of the incumbency advantage across the two Chambers of Congress, other elective offices, and even across democratic political systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)270-274
    Number of pages5
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


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