Are there Scale Economies in Scientific Production? On the Topic of Locally Increasing Returns to Scale
AbstractIn this paper the question of returns to scale in scientific production is analyzed using nonparametric techniques for multidimensional efficiency measurement. Based on survey data for German research groups from three scientific fields it is shown that the multidimensional production possibility sets are weakly non-convex and locally strictly non-convex. This implies that the production functions for the groups in the sample are characterised by increasing returns in some regions and at least constant returns to scale otherwise. This has two implications for organization of scientific research: first, at least some groups in our sample have suboptimal size and could benefit from growing. Second, specialisation on certain tasks in science (e.g. transfer-oriented groups vs. research-oriented groups) would increase output of the overall system.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series Papers in Innovation Studies with number 2013/43.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 20 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Research Units; Specialisation; Production; Efficiency; Returns to scale; DEA;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2013-12-29 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-SOG-2013-12-29 (Sociology of Economics)
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