Jennifer Hayes Clark

Pauline Yelderman Endowed Chair & Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Houston
Chapter Leader: Texas SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • State & Local Government
  • Health Care Reform
  • Gender & Sexuality

Connect with Jennifer

About Jennifer

Clark received her Ph.D. in Political Science and Statistical Methods from Indiana University and her B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Political Science and Mathematics from the University of Mississippi.  Her areas of specialization include American legislative institutions, state politics, and public policy.  During 2008-2009, she served as an APSA Congressional Fellow.  She received the Ross M. Lence Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Houston in 2014.  Her book, Minority Parties in U.S. Legislatures: Conditions of Influence, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2015.  Her research has also appeared in such journals as The American Political Science Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly.


Do Term Limits Encourage Legislators to Ignore Constituents?

    Robert Lucas Williams

In the News

"Female Candidates are More Likely to Use Twitter to Discuss Policy Issues and to Go Negative in Their Campaign," Jennifer Hayes Clark (with Heather K. Evans), London School of Economics U.S. Politics and Policy Blog, November 25, 2015.
"How Do the States and Party Shape Immigration in the U.S. Congress?," Jennifer Hayes Clark, The Plot, September 5, 2015.
"Inequality in Health Care Persists at the State Level, Especially in Red States with Diverse Populations," Jennifer Hayes Clark (with Ling Zhu), London School of Economics U.S. Politics and Policy Blog, May 7, 2015.
"Elections Using Open Primaries Lead to More Autonomy being Granted for Committees in State Legislatures," Jennifer Hayes Clark (with Tanya Bagashka), London School of Economics U.S. Politics and Policy Blog, August 27, 2014.
"Term Limits Alone Do Not Cause Legislators to Shirk their Duties—the Actual Results are Far More Complicated," Jennifer Hayes Clark (with R. Lucas Williams), London School of Economics US Politics and Policy Blog, December 19, 2013.


"Rights without Access" (with Ling Zhu). State Policy & Politics Quarterly 15, no. 2 (2015): 239-262.

Explores how partisanship in government affects subnational-level inequality in health care coverage in the context of racial diversity.

"The Motion to Recommit in the U.S. House" in Party and Procedure in the U.S. Congress, edited by Jacob Straus and Matthew Glassman (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
"’You Tweet Like a Girl!’ How Women Campaign on Twitter" (with Heather K. Evans). American Politics Research 44, no. 2 (2016): 326-352.

Investigates the Twitter activity of all congressional candidates leading up to the 2012 U.S. House elections to assess whether there are significant differences in the tone and content of the tweets from male and female candidates.

Minority Parties in U.S. Legislatures: Conditions of Influence (University of Michigan Press, 2015).

Examines the degree to which members of the minority party can pass their policies and win valuable committee assignments in all 99 state legislatures and the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

"Electoral Rules and Legislative Organization: An Examination of Committee Autonomy in U.S. State Legislatures" (with Tanya Bagashka). State Politics & Policy Quarterly 14 (2014): 297-320.

Investigates the relationship between electoral institutions and committee autonomy in the context of U.S. state legislatures.

"Parties, Term Limits and Representation in the U.S. States" (with Robert Lucas Williams). American Politics Research 42, no. 1 (2014): 171-193.
Examines how severing the electoral connection influences legislative behavior.
"Party Politics and Enactment of 'ObamaCare': A Policy-Centered Analysis of Minority Party Involvement" (with Elizabeth Rigby and Stacey Pelika). Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 39, no. 1 (2014): 57-95.
Draws on real-time accounts published in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call to compare the success of Democratic and Republican parties' policy proposals in terms of centrality to the policy agenda and inclusion in the enacted legislation with regard to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
"Multimember Districts and the Substantive Representation of Women: An Analysis of Gendered Cosponsorship Networks" (with Veronica Caro). Politics & Gender 9, no. 1 (2013): 1-30.

Examines how examine how one particular electoral institution – district magnitude – shapes the substantive representation of women.

"Examining Parties as Procedural Cartels: Evidence from the U.S. States" Legislative Studies Quarterly 37, no. 4 (2012): 491-507.
Tests predictions form the party cartel theory (which states that the majority party exerts influence over legislative outcomes through agenda control) in five state legislatures.