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Publish or Perish: An Analysis of the Academic Job Market in Italy

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

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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File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/documents/discussion-papers/14-04.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 14/04.

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Date of creation: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:not:notecp:14/04
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School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD

Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Chia-Lin Chang & Michael McAleer & Les Oxley, 2010. "Journal Impact Factor Versus Eigenfactor and Article Influence," KIER Working Papers 737, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Yasar Barut & Dan Kovenock & Charles N. Noussair, 2002. "A Comparison of Multiple-Unit All-Pay and Winner-Pay Auctions Under Incomplete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 675-708, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Durante, Ruben & Labartino, Giovanna & Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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