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Publish or Perish? Incentives and Careers in Italian Academia

Listed author(s):
  • Checchi, Daniele
  • De Fraja, Gianni
  • Verzillo, Stefano

We derive a theoretical model of effort in the presence of career concern based on the multi-unit all-pay auction, and closely inspired by the Italian academic market. In this model, the number of applicants, the number of new posts, and the relative importance of the determinants of promotion determine academics' effort. Because of the specific characteristics of Italian universities, where incentives operate only through promotion, and where all appointment panels are drawn from strictly separated and relatively narrow scientific sectors, the model fits well Italian academia, and we test it in a newly constructed dataset which collects the journal publications of all Italian academics working in universities. We find that individual researchers respond to incentives in the manner predicted by the theoretical model: more capable researchers respond to increases in the importance of the measurable determinants of promotion and in the competitiveness of the scientific sector by exerting more effort; less able researchers do the opposite.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 10084.

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Date of creation: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10084
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  1. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. Kelchtermans, Stijn & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2009. "The Great Divide in Scientific Productivity. Why the Average Scientist Does Not Exist," Working Papers 2009/01, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  3. Ruben Durante & Giovanna Labartino & Roberto Perotti, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," NBER Working Papers 17572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Zinovyeva, Natalia & Bagues, Manuel F., 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Academic Promotion? Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Yasar Barut & Dan Kovenock & Charles Noussair, 1999. "A Comparison of Multiple-Unit All-Pay and Winner-Pay Auctions Under Incomplete Information," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-09, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  6. Daniele Checchi & Gianni De Fraja & Stefano Verzillo, 2014. "And the Winners Areā€¦ An Axiomatic Approach to Selection from a Set," Discussion Papers 14/05, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  7. Chang, C-L. & McAleer, M.J. & Oxley, L., 2010. "Journal Impect Factor Versus Eigenfactor and Article Influence," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2010-67, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  8. Dietz, James S. & Bozeman, Barry, 2005. "Academic careers, patents, and productivity: industry experience as scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 349-367, April.
  9. Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo & Cristiano Giuffrida & Giovanni Abramo, 2011. "A heuristic approach to author name disambiguation in bibliometrics databases for large-scale research assessments," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(2), pages 257-269, 02.
  10. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:10:y:1975:i:1:p:107-115 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Checchi, Daniele & De Fraja, Gianni & Verzillo, Stefano, 2014. "And the Winners Are... An Axiomatic Approach to Selection from a Set," IZA Discussion Papers 8344, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Intergenerational transfers of public sector jobs: a shred of evidence on nepotism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 167-188, October.
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