Political Shirking and the Last Term Problem: Evidence for a Party-Administered Pension System
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. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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