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Economic and social studies of scientific research: nature and origins

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Interest in the role that science and scientific research play in economics and the other social sciences has exploded in the last fifty years. This attention undoubtedly reflects the increased importance that scientific research is contributing more and more to employment and economic growth, as well as the comparative advantage of countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature and origins of the studies which focus scientific research and organization (such as economics of science, sociology of science, managerial economics of research organizations, political economy of science, etc.). The paper shows as the foundations of this discipline are the works of Huxley, Bernal, Bush, Peirce, Polanyi, and Freedman and the success of the Manhattan and Rand projects (1930s-1950s) that symbolised the power of big science projects involving governments, scientists, industrialists and universities.

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Paper provided by Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) in its series CERIS Working Paper with number 200607.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:200607

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Related research

Keywords: Science; Scientific research; Sociology of science; Social studies of science; History of science; Research policy; Research laboratory; Research management;

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  1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
  3. Pavitt, K, 2001. "Public Policies to Support Basic Research: What Can the Rest of the World Learn from US Theory and Practice? (And What They Should Not Learn)," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 761-79, September.
  4. Hicks, Diana, 1995. "Published Papers, Tacit Competencies and Corporate Management of the Public/Private Character of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 401-24.
  5. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
  6. Salter, Ammon J. & Martin, Ben R., 2001. "The economic benefits of publicly funded basic research: a critical review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 509-532, March.
  7. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
  8. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1974. "Science, Invention and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(333), pages 90-108, March.
  10. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
  11. Narin, Francis & Hamilton, Kimberly S. & Olivastro, Dominic, 1997. "The increasing linkage between U.S. technology and public science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 317-330, October.
  12. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
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