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The effects of decentralization on academic recruitment in Italy
We analyse the reform of the recruitment procedure in Italian academia in 1999, when competitions for professorship were decentralised. By measuring scientific productivity with bibliometric indices, we compare academics who started their career before the reform with peers who started after the reform. The main result is given by the absence of significant changes, even when we decompose the sample by research fields. The lack of statistical significance is interpreted as evidence of the cooptative selection mechanisms within universities which are stronger than formal selection rules.