The Influence of Term Limits on the Election of Women to State Legislatures
25 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2010
This study investigates the effect of the imposition of term limits on the number of women elected to state legislatures in the United States. It uses a multivariate regression model, which differs from earlier works by utilizing a pooled, time-series data set of state legislatures, from 1989-2007. This allows the use of a simple OLS multiple regression analysis on a data set with a large enough number of cases (n) to include numerous control variables while also increasing the likelihood of detecting statistically significant relationships between term limits and female representation.
This analysis reveals that geographic region (non-southern), state higher education attainment levels, and the level of professionalism of legislative bodies are the variables most associated with increased levels of female representation in state legislatures. While the correlation between term limits and female representation is less pronounced, this study’s findings suggest that term limits may accelerate the electoral success of women seeking state legislative office.
Keywords: term limits, state legislatures, state legislators
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