When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men? Jan 22, 2013 By Craig VoldenAlan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt UniversityDana E. Wittmer, Colorado College When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men? When Are Women More Effective Lawmakers Than Men? Previous scholarship has demonstrated that female lawmakers differ from their male counterparts by engaging more fully in consensus-building activities. We argue that this behavioral difference does not serve women equally well in all institutional settings. Contentious and partisan activities of male lawmakers may help them outperform women when in a polarized majority party. However, in the minority party, while men may choose to obstruct and delay, women continue to strive to build coalitions and bring about new policies. We find strong evidence that minority party women in the U.S. House of Representatives are better able to keep their sponsored bills alive through later stages of the legislative process than are minority party men, across the 93rd-110th Congresses (1973-2008). The opposite is true for majority party women, however, who counterbalance this lack of later success by introducing more legislation. Moreover, while the legislative style of minority party women has served them well consistently across the past four decades, majority party women have become less effective as Congress has become more polarized. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12010/pdf Areas of focus Leadership Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, including within American federalism. Read full bio Alan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt University Dana E. Wittmer, Colorado College Related Content Craig Volden Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness Research Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem through the inclusion of institutional considerations such as political parties, committees, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is more effective than another at solving public policy problems and that all proposers are equally capable of advancing proposals. Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate Research Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. Batten Faculty Provide Commentary on Election Results News In commentary compiled by the Miller Center, Batten Professors Jennifer Lawless, Margaret Foster Riley, Todd Sechser, and Craig Volden weigh in on the 2020 election, offering updates on the latest developments. Members of Congress are Specializing Less Often. Volden and Wiseman Say That Makes Them Less Effective. News Batten’s Craig Volden and Vanderbilt’s Alan Wiseman, co-directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, find that members of Congress are becoming less specialized and in turn, less effective. How do we encourage more expertise and reverse the trend?