A political economy model of congressional careers

Daniel Diermeier, Michael Keane, Antonio Merlo

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Our main goal is to quantify the returns to a career in the United States Congress. We specify a dynamic model of career decisions of a member of Congress and estimate this model using a newly collected dataset. Given estimates of the structural model, we assess reelection probabilities, estimate the effect of congressional experience on private and public sector wages, and quantify the value of a congressional seat. Moreover, we assess how an increase in the congressional wage or the imposition of term limits would affect the career decisions of politicians and the returns from a career in Congress.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)347-373
    Number of pages27
    JournalAmerican Economic Review
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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