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Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia

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  • Durante, Ruben
  • Labartino, Giovanna
  • Perotti, Roberto

Abstract

Decentralization can lead to "good" or "bad" outcomes depending on the socio-cultural norms of the targeted communities. We investigate this issue by looking at the evolution of familism and nepotism in the Italian academia before and after the 1998 reform, which decentralized the recruitment of professors from the national to the university level. To capture familism we use a novel dataset on Italian university professors between 1988 and 2008 focusing on the informative content of last names. We construct two indices of "homonymy" which capture the concentration of last names in a given academic department relative to that in the underlying general population. Our results suggest that increased autonomy by local university officials resulted in a significant increase in the incidence of familism in areas characterized by low civic capital but not in areas with higher civic capital.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8645.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8645

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Keywords: Civic capital; Familism; Higher education;

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Cited by:
  1. Federico Boffa & Amedeo Piolatto & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2012. "Centralization and accountability: theory and evidence from the Clean Air Act," Working Papers 2012/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Abatemarco, Antonio & Dell'Anno, Roberto, 2012. "The Italian Reform of the academic recruitment system: an appraisal of ANVUR and CUN benchmarks for assessing candidates and commissioners," MPRA Paper 38872, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Guido Buensdorf & Matthias Geissler, 2014. "Like Doktorvater, like Son? Tracing Role Model Learning in the Evolution of German Laser Research," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(2-3), pages 158-184, April.
  4. Federico Boffa & Amedeo Piolatto & Giacomo Ponzetto, 2014. "Political Centralization and Government Accountability," Working Papers 656, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Marco Paccagnella & Paolo Sestito, 2014. "School cheating and social capital," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 952, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolò & Regine Oexl, 2012. "Mediocrity and Induced Reciprocity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-053, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2012. "School Governance, Teacher Incentives, and Pupil-Teacher Ratios: Experimental Evidence from Kenyan Primary Schools," NBER Working Papers 17939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zinovyeva, Natalia & Bagues, Manuel F., 2012. "The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions," IZA Discussion Papers 6821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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