Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia

Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia

Ruben Durante, Giovanna Labartino, Roberto Perotti (2012)


Decentralization can lead to “good” or “bad” outcomes depending on the socio-cultural
norms of the targeted communities. We investigate this issue by looking at the evolution
of familism and nepotism in the Italian academia before and after the 1998 reform, which
decentralized the recruitment of professors from the national to the university level. To
capture familism we use a novel dataset on Italian university professors between 1988
and 2008 focusing on the informative content of last names. We construct two indices
of “homonymy” which capture the concentration of last names in a given academic department
relative to that in the underlying general population. Our results suggest that
increased autonomy by local university officials resulted in a significant increase in the
incidence of familism in areas characterized by low civic capital but not in areas with
higher civic capital.
Scarica la ricerca nepotism in italian univesities

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