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Will She Stay or Will She Go? Career Ceilings and Women's Retirement from the U.S. Congress

Jennifer L. Lawless and Sean M. Theriault
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Nov., 2005), pp. 581-596
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3598551
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Will She Stay or Will She Go? Career Ceilings and Women's Retirement from the U.S. Congress
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Abstract

This article offers the first broad-based, systematic, times-series assessment of the gender dynamics underlying congressional retirement. We extend the body of work on gender and representation by using the congressional retirement literature to develop an argument that accounts for the gender gap in the average length of congressional service. Our results indicate that women are less willing than men to remain in Congress when their ability to influence the legislative agenda stalls. Because of women's relatively early departures from the House of Representatives, our analysis suggests that prospects for women's representation are less promising than the conventional wisdom suggests.

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