Measuring Nepotism through Shared Last Names: The Case of Italian Academia
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{"title"=>"Measuring nepotism through shared last names: The case of Italian academia", "type"=>"journal", "authors"=>[{"first_name"=>"Stefano", "last_name"=>"Allesina", "scopus_author_id"=>"8574674400"}], "year"=>2011, "source"=>"PLoS ONE", "identifiers"=>{"scopus"=>"2-s2.0-79961041282", "sgr"=>"79961041282", "pui"=>"362270497", "arxiv"=>"1208.5792", "issn"=>"19326203", "isbn"=>"1932-6203", "pmid"=>"21826195", "doi"=>"10.1371/journal.pone.0021160"}, "id"=>"49ee3082-b00e-3c48-ae91-951b46a826b5", "abstract"=>"In a recent article, I showed that in several academic disciplines in Italy, professors display a paucity of last names that cannot be explained by unbiased, random, hiring processes. I suggested that this scarcity of last names could be related to the prevalence of nepotistic hires, i.e., professors engaging in illegal practices to have their relatives hired as academics. My findings have recently been questioned through repeat analysis to the United Kingdom university system. Ferlazzo & Sdoia found that several disciplines in this system also display a scarcity of last names, and that a similar scarcity is found when analyzing the first (given) names of Italian professors. Here I show that the scarcity of first names in Italian disciplines is completely explained by uneven male/female representation, while the scarcity of last names in United Kingdom academia is due to discipline-specific immigration. However, these factors cannot explain the scarcity of last names in Italian disciplines. Geographic and demographic considerations -- proposed as a possible explanation of my findings -- appear to have no significant effect: after correcting for these factors, the scarcity of last names remains highly significant in several disciplines, and there is a marked trend from north to south, with a higher likelihood of nepotism in the south and in Sicily. Moreover, I show that in several Italian disciplines positions tend to be inherited as with last names (i.e., from father to son, but not from mother to daughter). Taken together, these results strenghten the case for nepotism, highlighting that statistical tests cannot be applied to a dataset without carefully considering the characteristics of the data and critically interpreting the results.", "link"=>"http://www.mendeley.com/research/measuring-nepotism-through-shared-last-names-case-italian-academia", "reader_count"=>107, "reader_count_by_academic_status"=>{"Unspecified"=>2, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>4, "Researcher"=>31, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>3, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>25, "Student > Postgraduate"=>2, "Student > Master"=>20, "Other"=>4, "Student > Bachelor"=>1, "Lecturer"=>1, "Lecturer > Senior Lecturer"=>2, "Professor"=>11}, "reader_count_by_user_role"=>{"Unspecified"=>2, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>4, "Researcher"=>31, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>3, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>25, "Student > Postgraduate"=>2, "Student > Master"=>20, "Other"=>4, "Student > Bachelor"=>1, "Lecturer"=>1, "Lecturer > Senior Lecturer"=>2, "Professor"=>11}, "reader_count_by_subject_area"=>{"Unspecified"=>6, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>47, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>6, "Chemical Engineering"=>1, "Chemistry"=>1, "Computer Science"=>2, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>3, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>3, "Environmental Science"=>10, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>3, "Materials Science"=>1, "Medicine and Dentistry"=>2, "Neuroscience"=>2, "Physics and Astronomy"=>4, "Psychology"=>4, "Social Sciences"=>11}, "reader_count_by_subdiscipline"=>{"Materials Science"=>{"Materials Science"=>1}, "Medicine and Dentistry"=>{"Medicine and Dentistry"=>2}, "Social Sciences"=>{"Social Sciences"=>11}, "Physics and Astronomy"=>{"Physics and Astronomy"=>4}, "Psychology"=>{"Psychology"=>4}, "Unspecified"=>{"Unspecified"=>6}, "Environmental Science"=>{"Environmental Science"=>10}, "Chemical Engineering"=>{"Chemical Engineering"=>1}, "Chemistry"=>{"Chemistry"=>1}, "Neuroscience"=>{"Neuroscience"=>2}, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>{"Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>3}, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>{"Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>3}, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>{"Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>47}, "Computer Science"=>{"Computer Science"=>2}, "Business, Management and Accounting"=>{"Business, Management and Accounting"=>6}, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>{"Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>3}}, "reader_count_by_country"=>{"Czech Republic"=>1, "United States"=>3, "United Kingdom"=>1, "Italy"=>6, "France"=>1, "Chile"=>1, "Switzerland"=>3, "Spain"=>5}, "group_count"=>3}

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  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/377354"], "description"=>"<div><p>Nepotistic practices are detrimental for academia. Here I show how disciplines with a high likelihood of nepotism can be detected using standard statistical techniques based on shared last names among professors. As an example, I analyze the set of all 61,340 Italian academics. I find that nepotism is prominent in Italy, with particular disciplinary sectors being detected as especially problematic. Out of 28 disciplines, 9 – accounting for more than half of Italian professors – display a significant paucity of last names. Moreover, in most disciplines a clear north-south trend emerges, with likelihood of nepotism increasing with latitude. Even accounting for the geographic clustering of last names, I find that for many disciplines the probability of name-sharing is boosted when professors work in the same institution or sub-discipline. Using these techniques policy makers can target cuts and funding in order to promote fair practices.</p> </div>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["measuring", "nepotism", "italian", "academia"], "article_id"=>134561, "categories"=>["Mathematics", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Stefano Allesina"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021160", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>23, "page_views"=>21, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/Measuring_Nepotism_through_Shared_Last_Names_The_Case_of_Italian_Academia/134561", "title"=>"Measuring Nepotism through Shared Last Names: The Case of Italian Academia", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2011-08-03 01:16:01"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/749858"], "description"=>"<p>For each institution (84, as I excluded on-line Universities), I computed the frequency by dividing the number of pairs of professors sharing the last name by the total number of possible pairs. I arrange in a circle the institutions based in the same city (e.g., 9 Universities in Roma). Darker shades stand for higher frequencies. The frequency of last name-sharing for each institution is reported in Supplementary Table 7 in <a href=\"http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0021160#pone.0021160.s001\" target=\"_blank\">Supporting Information S1</a>.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["name-sharing", "italian"], "article_id"=>420234, "categories"=>["Mathematics", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Stefano Allesina"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021160.g001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>4, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Frequency_of_last_name_sharing_in_Italian_Universities_/420234", "title"=>"Frequency of last name-sharing in Italian Universities.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2011-08-03 00:03:54"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/749953"], "description"=>"<p>For each macro-sector, I report the results from Monte Carlo simulations: number of researchers in the discipline (“People”), the number of distinct last names (“Names”), the expected number of last names (“Expected”), and the associated -value, measuring how probable it is to find an equal or lower number of names at random. I also report the results from the logistic regression models: effects and the statistical significance of geographic distance (“Distance”), sharing the same institution (“Institution”), sharing the same micro-sector (“Micro”) and the average latitude (“Latitude”) on the probability that two researcher in any discipline have the same name. Magnitude of the coefficients and probabilities are reported in the Supplementary Tables 3, 4, 5, 6 in <a href=\"http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0021160#pone.0021160.s001\" target=\"_blank\">Supporting Information S1</a>. Significance levels“***” (), “**” (), “*” (), NS (), NA (no data available for the coefficient).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["nepotism"], "article_id"=>420335, "categories"=>["Mathematics", "Science Policy"], "users"=>["Stefano Allesina"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021160.t001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>5, "page_views"=>11, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Likelihood_of_nepotism_for_macro_sector_/420335", "title"=>"Likelihood of nepotism for macro-sector.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2011-08-03 00:05:35"}

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