An Analysis of Congressional Career Decisions, 1947-86'

Posted: 2 Jul 2008

See all articles by D. Roderick Kiewiet

D. Roderick Kiewiet

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Langche Zeng

University of California, San Diego

Date Written: December 1993

Abstract

Most previous research on congressional career decisions has focused on one of two bin choices-between retiring and running for reelection and seeking higher office. But most of the time, representatives face all three choices simultaneously. Employing a "mother logit" model, we estimate the effectws of relevant variables both on pairwise comparisons (conditional probabilites) and on the unconditional probabilities of choosing each one of these three alternatives. Probably most intriguing is our finding that a member's age little or no effect upon the unconditional probability of running for reelection. The interrelatedness career options is seen particularly clearly in the case if incumbents who had been restricted out of their seats. When they had an opportunity to run for higher office, they were likely to take it. Only when they lacked such an opportunity were they more likely than other members to opt for retirement.

Suggested Citation

Kiewiet, D. Roderick and Zeng, Langche, An Analysis of Congressional Career Decisions, 1947-86' (December 1993). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154616

D. Roderick Kiewiet (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626 395-4032 (Phone)

Langche Zeng

University of California, San Diego ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

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