Market Forces in Italian Academia today (and yesterday)

Published in Scientometrics, 2022

This paper investigates the operation of the academic market in Italy, mapping current scholars’ location choices. I build a new dataset of current professors, associating each scholar with a composite indicator of their quality. The analysis includes the quality of the university and the features of the city where the institution is located. I estimate the strength of different factors: gravity (distance), agglomeration (scholars are attracted to higher quality universities), selection (better scholars travel longer distances), and sorting (the better the scholar, the more the quality of universities is weighted). I find that all of these factors have an effect, and do not vary according to scholars’ gender. I find a greater expected utility for scholars in choosing private universities over public ones, through a consistent nesting procedure. Comparing these forces to historical trends in Italian academia, the sorting effect delineates a new momentum for the current academic market in Italy.

Recommended citation: Zanardello, Chiara. (2022). "Market Forces in Italian Academia today (and yesterday)." Scientometrics 128, 651–698.

Work in progress

Early Modern Academies, Universities, and Economic Growth

Using a novel database of Early Modern scholars, I study the influence of innovative knowledge on European growth from 1500 to 1800. I exploit advanced DID estimators robust to heterogeneous treatment and staggered effects. Proxying economic development with city population, I find that the creation of scientific academies increases population growth rates by 15% after 150 years in cities hosting them, while humanistic academies have a no discernable positive effect on long-term growth. Moreover, I show that scientific academies rapidly enhance quality of universities in the same urban area. Overall, the paper provides the first evidence on the pivotal role of scientific academies in the economic growth of Europe, driving also the modernization of universities.

RETE - Repertorium Eruditorum Totius Europae