Prizes for Basic Research -- Human Capital, Economic Might and the Shadow of History
AbstractThis paper studies the impact of global factors on patterns of basic research across countries and time. We rely on the records of major scientific awards, and on data dealing with global economic and historical trends. Specifically, we investigate the degree to which scale or threshold effects account for countries share of major prizes [Nobel, Fields, Kyoto and Wolf]. We construct a stylized model, predicting that lagged relative GDP of a country relative to the GDP of all countries engaging in basic research is an important explanatory variable of country's share of prizes. Scale effects imply that the association between the GDP share of a country and its prize share tends to be logistic -- above a threshold, there is a "take off" range, where the prize share increases at an accelerating rate with the relative GDP share of the country, until it reaches "maturity" stage. Our empirical analysis confirms the importance of lagged relative GDP in accounting for countries' prize shares, and the presence of "winner takes all" scale effect benefiting the leader. Using measures of casualties during the wars, we find that the only significant effect can be found for a lag of 3 decades – i.e., deaths in the war negatively impact the viability of basic research about 30 years after the fact. With more recent data, we document the growing importance of countries that used to be at the periphery of global research, possibly advancing towards the take off stage.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200705.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2007. "Prizes for basic research: Human capital, economic might and the shadow of history," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 261-282, September.
- Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2006. "Prizes for Basic Research -- Human Capital, Economic Might and the Shadow of History," NBER Working Papers 12226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
- Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
- 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.
- Rose, Andrew K., 2006.
"Size really doesn't matter: In search of a national scale effect,"
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies,
Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 482-507, December.
- Rose, Andrew K, 2005. "Size Really Doesn't Matter: In Search of a National Scale Effect," CEPR Discussion Papers 5350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruce A. Weinberg & David W. Galenson, 2005. "Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics," NBER Working Papers 11799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2004. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 413-417, February.
- Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2004.
"A search for multiple equilibria in urban industrial structure,"
0304-12, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65.
- Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "A Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure," NBER Working Papers 10252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David E. Weinstein & Donald R. Davis, 2004. "Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 639, Econometric Society.
- Paul A. David, .
"Path Dependence, its critics, and the quest for 'historical economics',"
00011, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Paul A.David, 2005. "Path dependence, its critics and the quest for ‘historical economics’," Economic History 0502003, EconWPA.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "Age and Great Invention," NBER Working Papers 11359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2006. "Size Really Doesn't Matter: In Search of a National Scale Effect," NBER Working Papers 12191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dailami, Mansoor & Kurlat, Sergio & Lim, Jamus Jerome, 2012.
"Bilateral M&A activity from the Global South,"
The North American Journal of Economics and Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 345-364.
- Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Papagni, Erasmo, 2007.
"Social rewards in science and economic growth,"
2776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web Technician).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.