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  • Author or Editor: Alessandro Caprasecca x
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Abstract  

The state of the art on the issue of sex differences in research efficiency agrees in recognizing higher performances for males, however there are divergences in explaining the possible causes. One of the causes advanced is that there are sex differences in the availability of aptitude at the “high end”. By comparing sex differences in concentration and performance of Italian academic star scientists to the case in the population complement, this work aims to verify if star, or “high-end”, scientists play a preponderant role in determining higher performance among males. The study reveals the existence of a greater relative concentration of males among star scientists, as well as a performance gap between male and female star scientists that is greater than for the rest of the population. In the latter subpopulation the performance gap between the two sexes is seen as truly marginal.

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Abstract  

The literature dedicated to the analysis of the difference in research productivity between the sexes tends to agree in indicating better performance for men. Through bibliometric examination of the entire population of research personnel working in the scientific-technological disciplines of Italian university system, this study confirms the presence of significant differences in productivity between men and women. The differences are, however, smaller than reported in a large part of the literature, confirming an ongoing tendency towards decline, and are also seen as more noticeable for quantitative performance indicators than other indicators. The gap between the sexes shows significant sectorial differences. In spite of the generally better performance of men, there are scientific sectors in which the performance of women does not prove to be inferior.

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