Pay Gaps in Congress: A Study

"The average gap in pay between male and female staffers is over $5,500 in the House and over $7,500 in the Senate. The size of this pay differential depends on the party and gender of the member of Congress for which the staffer works."


"This paper builds on a large body of economic scholarship on gender pay differentials by linking it to political institutions that have meaningful impacts on policy outcomes and representation."


"Though no pay gap exists between male and female elected officials because their salaries are set by legislation, the opportunity presented by studying congressional staff represents an important contribution to the economic literature on the gender pay gap."


"Women are just as successful as male candidates in terms of fundraising and votes received, and more successful at securing federal funds for their constituents. Generally, a large body of evidence finds women behave differently once in Congress. [Researchers] argue that the factors that drive fewer women to run for office also contribute to their behavior once in office by inducing female members of Congress to work harder for their constituents (because they are more likely to feel vulnerable) and, as a result, women also deliver more constituency service and respond better to constituent demands on policy."

From our new favorite working paper: The Gender Pay Gap in Congressional Offices

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