Calling it Quits: Legislative Retirements in Comparative Perspective

Christopher D. Raymond*, L. Marvin Overby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


Although retirements are a major source of legislative turnover, research on the topic has been limited, especially outside of the US House of Representatives. In this paper, we address this shortcoming by examining retirements in two countries with similar electoral systems yet different legislative environments and party systems: Canada and the United Kingdom. In particular, we extend analysis on the Congress that has consistently shown Republican members retire at higher rates than their Democratic counterparts to examine whether this finding is generalizable to legislators from other parties of the right and/or favouring devolution in other parliamentary settings. In presenting data that support many of these hypotheses, we explore an important normative implication: because their partisan predispositions make them less willing to serve, politicians from parties favouring limited government and/or devolution may be less able to translate their vision of politics into policy because they face systemic problems maintaining legislative seats. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Studies
Early online date31 Jul 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Jul 2019


  • ideology
  • legislatures
  • parliamentary careers
  • parliaments
  • retirement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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