A gender analysis of top scientists' collaboration behavior: evidence from Italy

Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo, Flavia Di Costa

This work analyzes the differences in collaboration behavior between males and females among a particular type of scholars: top scientists, and as compared to non top scientists. The field of observation consists of the Italian academic system and the co-authorships of scientific publications by 11,145 professors. The results obtained from a cross-sectional analysis covering the five-year period 2006-2010 show that there are no significant differences in the overall propensity to collaborate in the top scientists of the two genders. At the level of single disciplines there are no differences in collaboration behavior, except in the case of: i) international collaborations, for Mathematics and Chemistry - where the propensity for collaboration is greater for males; and ii) extramural domestic collaborations in Physics, in which it is the females that show greater propensity for collaboration. Because international collaboration is positively correlated to research performance, findings can inform science policy aimed at increasing the representation of female top performers.

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