Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Julia Hellwege

Second Advisor

Dr. Ed Gerrish

Third Advisor

Dr. Shane Nordyke


Majority-Party, Gender, Legislative Effectiveness, Productivity, Congress


This thesis examines differences in productivity levels from members of the 93rd to 115th United States House of Representatives with respect to majority-party status and gender. Using data from the Center of Effective Lawmaking, the study conducts a basic regression model using productivity as a function of whether or not the individual is a majority party member and their gender. Although the traditional measure of legislator success is legislative effectiveness, these measures take into account institutional differences. Productivity is measured by the amount of bills an individual legislator introduces and is dependent on the individual, not institutional approval that favors male legislators. Consistent with expectations, the regression models find strong patterns that majority-party status is, on average, predictive of productivity. However, within majority-party membership, there is no different in productivity between gender. These results could set a new standard for how we measure legislative success; rather than measuring success based on institutional approval, it is important to consider individual productivity as well.



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