Opportunities in Parliament and Political Careers: A Natural Experiment in the United Kingdom
26 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2016 Last revised: 11 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 10, 2017
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: Suggested Citation