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

  • Michele Pezzoni

    ()

    (University of Bergamo, Faculty of Engineering, Dalmine, Italy - KiTES Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Valerio Sterzi

    ()

    (University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy - University of Brescia, Faculty of Engineering, Brescia, Italy - KiTES Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Francesco Lissoni

    ()

    (University of Bergamo, Faculty of Engineering, Dalmine, Italy - KiTES Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

Notions of social capital have loomed large in the literature on academic careers, but it has proved difficult to disentangle the various benefits social capital bring to individual scientists. Besides, most of the relevant literature is quite US-centric and provide little clues on how the notion can be extend to different academic systems. We examine the career profiles of a large sample of French and Italian academic physicists between 2000 and 2003/2005, and propose measures of social capital that take into account the two countries' institutional specificities. We find that rank advancements are explained not only by individual variables (such as productivity, seniority and gender), but also by relational ones, such as: the scientist's affiliation to important public research organizations (France); and her social ties with senior members of the discipline, who exercise control over careers (Italy). Significant differences exist between the two countries also with respect to the importance of productivity and gender.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/KitesWP26.pdf
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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 026.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision: 2009
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites26_wp
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