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Political Shirking and the Last Term Problem: Evidence for a Party-Administered Pension System

John Carey
Public Choice
Vol. 81, No. 1/2 (Oct., 1994), pp. 1-22
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30027102
Page Count: 22
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Political Shirking and the Last Term Problem: Evidence for a Party-Administered Pension System
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Abstract

Studies of political shirking have disagreed both over whether the voting behavior of Members of Congress changes in their last term, and over the manner in which last term shirking can be controlled: through electoral sorting, or through a pension system. This paper presents evidence that Members of Congress who leave the House to run for statewide office do alter their voting behavior between the two sessions of their last House term, and that this change includes an ideological shift toward their state party delegations. The results suggest that a party-driven pension system influences the voting of House members who aspire to higher office, but that the pension system is not sufficient to control the last term shirking likely to occur if term limitations were imposed on House members.

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