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? 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 American Journal of Political Science Areas of focus Leadership Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics at the University of Virginia, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Department of Politics. He studies the politics of public policy, with a focus on what policy choices arise within legislative institutions and within American federalism. He is founder and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking. Read full bio Alan E. Wiseman, Vanderbilt University Dana E. Wittmer, Colorado College Related Content Craig Volden Legislative Effectiveness, Progressive Ambition, and Electoral Success Research The Primary Path for Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Electoral Success Research Effective lawmakers are the workhorses of the US Congress, yet we know little about the electoral payoffs of their efforts. Are effective lawmakers better at warding off challengers in the next election? Do they win at a greater rate? Improving Expertise of Congressional Staff News In an op-ed published in The Messenger, Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman of the Center for Effective Lawmaking write that without proper career training for congressional staffers, expertise gaps on Capitol Hill will continue to be problematic. Bipartisanship the “secret sauce” for effective lawmaking, despite rising polarization in Congress News Despite perceptions that Congress is dominated by partisan interests, a new study from the Center for Effective Lawmaking -- co-directed by Batten professor Craig Volden -- finds that legislators who draw in cosponsors from both sides of the aisle are more effective.