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Research Productivity in a System of Universities

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  • James D. Adams
  • Zvi Griliches

Abstract

This paper considers research performance of U.S. universities for eight science fields. At the aggregate level we find that research output follows a constant returns to scale process. However, for individual universities we find evidence of diminishing returns. We offer two explanations for these differing results. First, data errors are more important at the individual level. Second, research spillovers exist between universities and fields that are captured only at the aggregate level.

Suggested Citation

  • James D. Adams & Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Research Productivity in a System of Universities," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 49-50, pages 127-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:127-162
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Evenson, Robert E & Kislev, Yoav, 1976. "A Stochastic Model of Applied Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 265-281, April.
    3. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0362-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ginther, Donna K., 2016. "Show me the Money: Federal R&D Support for Academic Chemistry, 1990–2009," ISU General Staff Papers 201612290800001018, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2355-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Incentives and invention in universities," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 403-433.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:85:y:2010:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-010-0263-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:87:y:2011:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0352-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:94:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0864-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Paul Heisey & Sarah Adelman, 2011. "Research expenditures, technology transfer activity, and university licensing revenue," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 38-60, February.
    10. Xia, Yin, 2004. "University Basic Research And Applied Agricultural Biotechnology," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20187, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. Wang, Eric C., 2010. "Determinants of R&D investment: The Extreme-Bounds-Analysis approach applied to 26 OECD countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 103-116, February.
    12. Daniel Chudnovsky & Andrés López & Martín Rossi & Diego Ubfal, 2006. "Evaluating a Program of Public Funding of Scientific Activity: A Case Study of FONCYT in Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2831, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Liang Zhang & Wei Bao & Liang Sun, 2016. "Resources and Research Production in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Analysis of Chinese Universities, 2000–2010," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(7), pages 869-891, November.
    14. Donald Siegel & David Waldman & Albert Link, 1999. "Assessing the Impact of Organizational Practices on the Productivity of University Technology Transfer Offices: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 7256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Abramo, Giovanni & Cicero, Tindaro & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea, 2011. "A field-standardized application of DEA to national-scale research assessment of universities," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 618-628.
    16. repec:spr:scient:v:99:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1149-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Lee Branstetter & Yoshiaki Ogura, 2005. "Is Academic Science Driving a Surge in Industrial Innovation? Evidence from Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 11561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. A. Abigail Payne & Aloysius Siow, 1998. "Estimating the Effects of Federal Research Funding on Universities using Alumni Representation on Congressional Appropriations Committees," Working Papers siow-99-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    19. A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(2), pages 325-345, April.
    20. repec:eee:soceps:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:16-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1432-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Lee, Yoo Hwan & Graff, Gregory D., 2016. "Academic Knowledge Spillovers and the Role of Geographic Proximity in Regional Agriculture-related Sectors: The impact of agricultural research at Colorado State University on the Colorado economy, an," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235717, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    23. Zhang, Liang & Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 2010. "Faculty employment and R&D expenditures at Research universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 329-337, June.
    24. Cristiano Antonelli & Chiara Franzoni & Aldo Geuna, 2011. "The Contributions of Economics to a Science of Science Policy," Chapters,in: Science and Innovation Policy for the New Knowledge Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise

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