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Opportunities and benefits as determinants of the direction of scientific research

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  • Bhattacharya, Jay
  • Packalen, Mikko

Abstract

Abstract Scientific research and private-sector technological innovation differ in objectives, constraints, and organizational forms. Scientific research may thus not be driven by the direct practical benefit to others in the way that private-sector innovation is. Alternatively, some - yet largely unexplored - mechanisms drive the direction of scientific research to respond to the expected public benefit. We test these two competing hypotheses of scientific research. This is important because any coherent specification of what constitutes the socially optimal allocation of research requires that scientists take the public practical benefit of their work into account in setting their agenda. We examine whether the composition of medical research responds to changes in disease prevalence, while accounting for the quality of available research opportunities. We match biomedical publications data with disease prevalence data and develop new methods for estimating the quality of research opportunities from textual information and structural productivity parameters.

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  • Bhattacharya, Jay & Packalen, Mikko, 2011. "Opportunities and benefits as determinants of the direction of scientific research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 603-615, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:603-615
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    Cited by:

    1. Sampat, Bhaven N., 2012. "Mission-oriented biomedical research at the NIH," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1729-1741.
    2. David Popp, 2015. "Using Scientific Publications to Evaluate Government R&D Spending: The Case of Energy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5442, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. David Popp, 2015. "Using Scientific Publications to Evaluate Government R&D Spending: The Case of Energy," NBER Working Papers 21415, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gilad Sorek, 2013. "Efficient Self-Protection and Progress in Curing-Technology," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-07, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    5. Anderson, Simon P & Waldfogel, Joel, 2015. "Preference Externalities in Media Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10835, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Barrenho, E & Smith, PC & Miraldo, M, 2013. "The determinants of attrition in drug development: a duration analysis," Working Papers 12204, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Scientific research Induced innovation Research opportunity Non-profit incentives Textual econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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