The Career Length and Service of Female Policymakers in the US House of Representatives

Rodrigo Praino, Daniel Stockemer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Various studies have outlined the institutional (e.g. the existence of quota laws and the electoral system type of a country) and non-institutional factors (e.g. the political culture of a country) that account for variation in women's representation, in general, and, in more detail, the low representation of women in the US Congress. However, no study has, so far, compared the Congressional career paths of men and women in order to understand whether this gender gap in representation stems from a difference in terms of the duration and importance of the careers of male and female policymakers. Using data on all US House elections between 1972 and 2012, we provide such an analysis, evaluating whether or not the political careers of women in the US House of Representatives are different from the political careers of their male counterparts. Our findings indicate that the congressional careers of men and women are alike and, if anything, women may even have a small edge over their male colleagues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)437-460
    Number of pages24
    JournalGovernment and Opposition
    Issue number3
    Early online date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


    • women’s representation
    • Policymakers
    • Lawmakers
    • US House of Representatives
    • USA Government
    • Congress
    • incumbency
    • gender
    • career ceiling
    • congressional careers
    • congressional committees
    • glass ceiling
    • men
    • women


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