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Career progress in centralized academic systems: Social capital and institutions in France and Italy

  • Pezzoni, Michele
  • Sterzi, Valerio
  • Lissoni, Francesco

We analyze the role of social capital in academic careers. We distinguish between ties with reputed scientists and laboratories (scientific and technical human capital) and ties with influential actors with respect to recruitment/promotion decisions (political capital). We use institution-wise bibliometric indicators to measure separately the two types of capital for a large sample of French and Italian academic physicists between 2000 and 2003/2005. Controlling for scientific productivity, seniority and gender issues, career progress is explained by: the scientist's affiliation to important public research organizations (scientific and technical human capital – France); his/her social ties with senior members of the discipline, who exercise control over careers (political capital – Italy), and the commitment to work with senior colleagues in his/her own university (political capital – Italy). Significant differences exist between the two countries also with respect to the importance of productivity, seniority, and gender.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 704-719

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:704-719
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