Citation indices have largely attracted the interest of both scholars and policy-makers in the recent years. This paper illustrates the potentialities and limitations of the use of bibliometric indicators to assess scientific productivity of research units (e.g., single researchers). The main existing citation indices are applied to a representative sample of 1327 Italian academic economists (secs p-01, p-02, p-03). This analysis highlights a limited sensitivity of bibliometrici rankings with respect to the citation index (h, g, g*, f, t, Fmax) and, vice versa, a larger sensitivity with respect to the database (Scopus, WoS, EconLit, Google Scholar). Finally, our estimates show that academic position, Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD), geographical location, and, in some regressions, university’s size of student population, explain about 20% of the variance of scholars’ bibliometric performances.
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