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Rohde: Risk bearing and progressive ambition

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Rohde. 1979. Risk bearing and progressive ambition. AJPS 23:1-26.

Place in the Literature

Schlesinger argued that there are three types of ambition present among House members:

Rohde counters that all House members have progressive ambition, but whether they exhibit it depends on their calculus--is it worth trying to run for a higher office or not?

The Calculus

See the article for specifics. Basically, whether a House member runs for Senate or governor depends on his expected utility of doing so--which, in turn, hinges on the value of the higher office, the probability of winning it, and the value of their current office.

Empirical Application

Rohde attempts to operationalize and test the model. A few examples:

Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects


Rohde, David (author)American PoliticsRiskElectionsCongress (U.S.)Challenger QualityIncumbency AdvantageElectoral Connection

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