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.
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?
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.
Rohde attempts to operationalize and test the model. A few examples:
Research by the same authors
Research on similar subjects