IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed009/134.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Academic Dynasties: Nepotism and Productivity in the Italian Academic System

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto Perotti

    (Bocconi University)

  • Guido Tabellini

    (Bocconi University)

  • Giovanna Labartino

    (Bocconi University)

  • Ruben Durante

    (Brown University)

Abstract

Extensive anecdotal evidence suggests that practices related to familism are widespread in Italian universities. However, systematic evidence is not available since information on family relations is generally unavailable or con dential. We explore the relevance of family ties in the Italian academia as well as the relationship between familism and scientific production. We use a novel dataset on individual characteristics of professors in all Italian universities with a particular focus on the informative content of last names. We construct an academic homonymity index (AHI) by comparing the relative frequency of a last name in each academic unit (department, faculty, university) with its relative frequency in the population of the area in which the university is located derived from data from the Italian scal census. Our index provides an intuitive measure of how disproportionately common a certain last name is within a specific academic unit relative to the overall underlying population. We use our index to investigate differences across universities, regions, and disciplines in the relevance of family connections. Our preliminary results are highly consistent with the anecdotal evidence and show significant differences across regions and disciplines. Interestingly, we also find a strong negative correlation between our index of homonymity and standard measures of interpersonal trust in the area where the university is located. Finally, with regard to the relationship between the strength of family connections and academic productivity, our preliminary findings show that universities which score higher in our homonymity measure tend to be characterized by poorer academic performance, especially in terms of research achievement.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini & Giovanna Labartino & Ruben Durante, 2009. "Academic Dynasties: Nepotism and Productivity in the Italian Academic System," 2009 Meeting Papers 134, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:134
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed009:134. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.