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Does Random Selection of Commissioners Improve the Quality of Selected Candidates? An Investigation in the Italian Academia

Listed author(s):
  • Checchi, Daniele

    ()

    (University of Milan)

  • De Poli, Silvia

    ()

    (FBK-IRVAPP)

  • Rettore, Enrico

    ()

    (University of Trento)

We study a reform occurred in Italy in 2008 in the formation of selection committees for qualifying as university professor. Prior to the reform members of the selection committees were elected by their peers, after the reform they have been randomly drawn. This policy was intended to increase the equality of opportunities of candidates via a reduction of the role played by connections to commissioners. Results show that the reform was ineffective in reducing the probability contribution of being an insider, but attenuated the impact of being connected to a commissioner without significantly raising the impact of scientific quality of candidates on the outcome of competitions. We also find that candidates internalised the changed environment and adapted their strategy of application.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10844.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10844
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  1. 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.
  2. Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel Bagues, 2015. "The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 264-292, April.
  3. Checchi, Daniele & De Fraja, Gianni & Verzillo, Stefano, 2014. "Publish or Perish? Incentives and Careers in Italian Academia," IZA Discussion Papers 8345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2015. "Gender Discrimination and Evaluators’ Gender: Evidence from Italian Academia," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(325), pages 162-188, 01.
  5. Olivier Godechot, 2016. "The Chance of Influence: A Natural Experiment on the Role of Social Capital in Faculty Recruitment," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/37ufknmfv39, Sciences Po.
  6. Bagues, Manuel F. & Sylos-Labini, Mauro & Zinovyeva, Natalia, 2015. "Connections in Scientific Committees and Applicants' Self-Selection: Evidence from a Natural Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos-Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2014. "Do gender quotas pass the test ? Evidence from academic evaluations in Italy," LEM Papers Series 2014/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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