Opportunities in Parliament and Political Careers: A Natural Experiment in the United Kingdom

26 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2016 Last revised: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by Yusaku Horiuchi

Yusaku Horiuchi

Dartmouth College - Department of Government

Peter John

Department of Political Economy, KCL; University College London - School of Public Policy

Date Written: December 10, 2017

Abstract

Do opportunities in Parliament to improve and demonstrate effectiveness as lawmakers help politicians take up new posts in their parties and in government? We examine this question by leveraging a natural experiment in the United Kingdom where randomly selected twenty MPs are given an opportunity to bring in legislation in each session. We show that winning the ballot decreases the probability of getting a new post among less experienced MPs, while it increases the probability among the more experienced. This finding raises a concern about the functioning of representative institutions, because whether or not MPs can seize the randomly assigned new opportunity hinges on the non-randomly generated pre-existing opportunity gap.

Keywords: Political Career, Opportunity Gap, Natural Experiment, Private Member's Bill, The United Kingdom

JEL Classification: C93, D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Horiuchi, Yusaku and John, Peter, Opportunities in Parliament and Political Careers: A Natural Experiment in the United Kingdom (December 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2854225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2854225

Yusaku Horiuchi (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Government ( email )

204 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.dartmouth.edu/horiuchi/

Peter John

Department of Political Economy, KCL ( email )

Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

University College London - School of Public Policy ( email )

29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom

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