A path analysis of legislative success in professional and citizen legislatures: A gender comparison


This study reports the direct effect of antecedent variables on the acquisition of state legislative leadership positions and bill-passage success and the indirect effect of these antecedents through leadership position. Path analysis is employed to analyze a model for women and men legislators surveyed from the twenty most professional and the twenty most citizen state legislatures. Women now have relative parity in leadership positions, especially in professional legislatures, and women have slightly higher rates of bill-passage success than men in both types of legislatures. It is gender and not type of legislature that primarily structures the antecedents of leadership position and bill-passage success: in both types of legislatures, men members achieve legislative positions and bill-passage success by more extensive involvement in majority party and traditional legislative politics, while women benefit more from personal attributes and legislative politics. However, seniority tends to be an asset for women and men in both types of legislatures.reserved.

Document Type



Legislative success, Professional and citizen legislatures, Women in state legislatures

Publication Date


Journal Title

Women and Politics