Voluntary Retirements from The House in the Twentieth Century

John R. Hibbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In the 1970s a startling number of United States representatives chose not to seek reelection to the House. This recent rush to retire reversed a long-term trend toward fewer and fewer voluntary departures and raises questions about the nature of the modern House as well as the motivations of the people who serve in it. In this article, several explanations of the variations in the number of voluntary retirements from the House are tested using aggregate, time-series data for the period from 1900 to 1980. The results indicate that two of the most important predictors of retirement rates are monetary remuneration and, most of all, method used to determine advancement within the committee system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1034
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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