Monday, January 12, 2015

Tweet

[IWS] CRS: CONGRESSIONAL CAREERS: SERVICE TENURE AND PATTERNS OF MEMBER SERVICE, 1789-2015 [3 January 2015]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015

Matthew Eric Glassman, Analyst on the Congress

Amber Hope Wilhelm, Graphics Specialist

January 3, 2015

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41545.pdf

[full-text, 16 pages]

 

Summary

The average service tenure of Members of the Senate and House of Representatives has varied

substantially since 1789. This report presents data on Member tenure and a historical analysis of

tenure trends.

 

During the 19th century, the average service of Representatives and Senators remained roughly

constant, with little or no change over time; the average years of service was slightly higher for

the first half of the century than during the second. During the late 19th and through the 20th

century, the average years of service for Senators steadily increased, from an average of just

under five years in the early 1880s to an average of just over 13 years in recent Congresses.

Similarly, the average years of service of Representatives increased from just over four years in

the first two Congresses of the 20th century to an average of approximately 10 years in the three

most recent Congresses.

 

The average years of service for Members of the 114th Congress, as of January 6, 2015, when the

Congress convened, was 8.8 years for the House and 9.7 years for the Senate. The average years

of service for Members of the 113th Congress, as of January 3, 2013, when the Congress

convened, was 9.1 years for the House and 10.2 years for the Senate. The average years of service

for Members of the 112th Congress, as of January 5, 2011, when the Congress convened, was 9.8

years for the House and 11.4 years for the Senate.

 

Two underlying factors appear to influence variation over time in the average years of service for

Members of Congress: the decision of sitting Members whether or not to seek election to the next

Congress, and the success rate of Members who seek election to the next Congress. In addition,

short-term variation in average service is affected by the individual service tenures of Members

who do not return for the following Congress.

 

Observed increases in the proportion of Members seeking re-election and decreases in the

proportion of Members defeated for re-election conform with previous scholarly assessments of

congressional history, which largely conclude that during the early history of Congress, turnover

in membership was frequent and resignations were commonplace, and that during the 20th

century, congressional careers lengthened as turnover decreased and Congress became more

professionalized.

 

The report also examines two further issues related to Member tenure. First, the distribution of

Member service that underlies the aggregate chamber averages is examined. Although the

average service tenure of Members has increased, more than half of Representatives and Senators

in recent Congresses have served eight years or less. Second, the report analyzes historical trends

in the percentage of Members who have served in both chambers. While only a small and

declining proportion of Representatives have historically had previous Senate experience,

throughout history a sizeable percentage of Senators have previously served in the House.

 

For information on the number of freshmen elected to Congress, refer to CRS Report R41283,

First-Term Members of the House of Representatives and Senate, 64th - 113th Congresses, by

Jennifer E. Manning and R. Eric Petersen.

 

This report will be updated at the beginning of each Congress.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Methodology .................................................................................................................................... 1

Data ........................................................................................................................................... 1

Summary Statistics .................................................................................................................... 2

Average Service Tenure ................................................................................................................... 2

House of Representatives .......................................................................................................... 3

Senate ........................................................................................................................................ 4

Analysis ..................................................................................................................................... 4

The Rate of Members Seeking Re-Election ........................................................................ 4

Re-Election Success Rate .................................................................................................... 5

Discussion ........................................................................................................................... 6

Patterns of Congressional Service ................................................................................................... 8

Distribution of Service Experience............................................................................................ 8

Cross-Chamber Experience ....................................................................................................... 9

Concluding Observations ............................................................................................................... 12

 

Figures

Figure 1. Average Service Tenure, Senators and Representatives ................................................... 3

Figure 2. Percentage of Representatives Who Did Not Seek Re-Election ...................................... 5

Figure 3. Percentage of Representatives Defeated for Re-Election ................................................. 6

Figure 4. Distribution of Representative Service Tenure ................................................................. 8

Figure 5. Distribution of Senator Service Tenure ............................................................................ 9

Figure 6. Percentage of Senators with Previous Service in the House .......................................... 10

Figure 7. Average Years of House Service Among Senators ......................................................... 11

Figure 8. Percentage of Representatives with Previous Service in the Senate .............................. 12

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 13

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?