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Is Italian science declining?

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  • Daraio, Cinzia
  • Moed, Henk F.

Abstract

The paper analyses the Italian contribution to the world scientific production, its relative citation impact, its international collaborations and scientific productivity compared with the most productive EU countries over the period 1980–2009. It shows that despite the fact that the level of funding has been dramatically low during the past decades, Italian science has been able to increase its performance up to 2007. Italian science is a “cathedral in the desert”. However, a recent reduction in the level of scientific production, the lagging behind in international scientific collaboration (highly correlated with the relative citation impact) and the great heterogeneity of researchers’ productivity (absence of correlation of number of researchers with quality and quantity of scientific production) may mark the start of a decline of Italian science. The paper concludes that the increased funding must go hand-in-hand with reform of autonomy and governance and calling for a sound system of internal quality control and performance enhancement.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1380-1392

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:10:p:1380-1392

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: Italian science; Public research organizations; Bibliometric indicators; International collaboration; R&D policy;

References

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  1. Luc BAUWENS & Giordano MION & Jacques-François THISSE, 2011. "The Resistible Decline of European Science," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2011041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
  3. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2008. "Higher aspirations: An agenda for reforming European universities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174284, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," CRSP working papers 511, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  5. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Cinzia Daraio, 2009. "Characterizing the European university system: a preliminary classification using census microdata," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(10), pages 763-775, December.
  6. Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1995. "Universities as a Source of Commercial Technology: A Detailed Analysis of University Patenting 1965-1988," NBER Working Papers 5068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christophe Croux & Catherine Dehon, . "Robustness versus efficiency for nonparametric correlation measures," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8472, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Daraio, Cinzia & Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Geuna, Aldo & Lepori, Benedetto & Bach, Laurent & Bogetoft, Peter & F. Cardoso, Margarida & Castro-Martinez, Elena & Crespi, Gustavo & de Lucio, Ignacio Fernandez, 2011. "The European university landscape: A micro characterization based on evidence from the Aquameth project," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 148-164, February.
  9. Abramo, Giovanni & D'Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea & Caprasecca, Alessandro, 2009. "Allocative efficiency in public research funding: Can bibliometrics help?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 206-215, February.
  10. Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
  11. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
  12. Salter, Ammon J. & Martin, Ben R., 2001. "The economic benefits of publicly funded basic research: a critical review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 509-532, March.
  13. Etzkowitz, Henry & Webster, Andrew & Gebhardt, Christiane & Terra, Branca Regina Cantisano, 2000. "The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-330, February.
  14. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Cinzia Daraio & Giancarlo Ruocco, 2012. "An Empirical Approach to Compare the Performance of Heterogeneous Academic Fields," DIAG Technical Reports 2012-03, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".

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