A nation’s foreign and domestic professors: which have better research performance? (the Italian case)

  • Giovanni AbramoEmail author
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
  • Flavia Di Costa


This work investigates the research performance of foreign faculty in the Italian academic system. Incoming professors compose l.1% of total faculty across the sciences, although with variations by discipline. Their scientific performance measured over 2010–2014 is on average better than that of their Italian colleagues: the greatest difference is for associate professors. Psychology is the discipline with the greatest concentration of top foreign scientists. However, there are notable shares of unproductive foreign professors or of those with mediocre performance. The findings stimulate reflection on issues of national policy concerning attractiveness of the higher education system to skilled people from abroad, given the ongoing heavy Italian brain drain.


Research evaluation International mobility Brain gain Scientometrics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Abramo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo
    • 2
  • Flavia Di Costa
    • 3
  1. 1.Istituto di Analisi dei Sistemi e InformaticaConsiglio Nazionale delle RicercheRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’ImpresaUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Research ValueRomeItaly

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