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Saving Soviet Science: The Impact of Grants When Government R&D Funding Disappears

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  • Ina Ganguli

Abstract

I estimate the impact of a historic grant program, funded by George Soros, that provided grants to over 28,000 Soviet scientists shortly after the end of the USSR. Exploiting a discontinuity in the grant eligibility formula, I show that the grants more than doubled publications on the margin, significantly induced scientists to remain in the science sector, and had long-lasting impacts. While existing evidence shows negligible impacts of scientific grants, I show that funding for science can have high marginal returns when funding levels are low relative to the stock of human capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Ina Ganguli, 2017. "Saving Soviet Science: The Impact of Grants When Government R&D Funding Disappears," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 165-201, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:165-201
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20160180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adam B. Jaffe, 2002. "Building Programme Evaluation into the Design of Public Research-Support Programmes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 22-34, Spring.
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    3. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Getz, Malcolm & Siegfried, John J., 1992. "Economic Challenges in Higher Education," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226110509, March.
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    5. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1168-1177.
    6. Freeman, Richard B, 1975. "Supply and Salary Adjustments to the Changing Science Manpower Market: Physics, 1948-1973," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 27-39, March.
    7. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in Transition: Changes in Gender Wage Differentials in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
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    11. Brooks, Harvey, 1994. "The relationship between science and technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 477-486, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1143-1203.
    2. Lawson, Cornelia & Geuna, Aldo & Finardi, Ugo, 2019. "Nurturing knowledge? The impact of funding and family on scientific performance," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201913, University of Turin.
    3. Ayoubi, Charles & Pezzoni, Michele & Visentin, Fabiana, 2019. "The important thing is not to win, it is to take part: What if scientists benefit from participating in research grant competitions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 84-97.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance

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