September 2015

IZA DP No. 9386: Procedures vs. Incentives: The Case of the University Promotion System in Italy

A common observation is that individuals strive to neutralize the effect of procedural rules designed to drive choices away from their private optimum. An example of this phenomenon is offered by the reaction of Italian academia to two reforms that modified the procedures of recruitment and promotion, by introducing random selection of the examiners not appointed by the recruiting school and reducing from two to one the number of candidates to be qualified. We model the negotiation occurring within evaluation committees and test the decision rule implied by the theoretical model on the sample composed of all selections to associate and full professorship initiated by the Italian schools of economics between 2004 and 2011. Particularly, we investigate whether these reforms decreased the relative weight of the examiner appointed by the recruiting school on committee's decision. Empirical results suggest that both reforms had little if no effect on examiners' weights.