Legislative Effort and Career Paths in the Argentine Congress

Dec 2012
This paper uses data from the Argentine House of Representatives to study the relationship between legislative effort and political success, as measured by reelection, becoming a leader of the House, and moving to higher political positions. It is found that more effort is associated with a higher probability of being reelected, and also that for those legislators that are reelected, higher effort is positively associated with acquiring leadership positions in the House. This happens in a context of fairly high legislative turnover and in a political context in which career paths of legislators are largely dictated by provincial party leaders. Interestingly, it is found that higher legislative effort is associated with a lower probability of improving politically outside Congress. These findings suggest the presence of various alternative career paths for Argentine politicians, and some degree of sorting. The paper concludes with some speculation on these politician types and with ideas for further research.