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Social benefits and costs of large scale research infrastructures

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  • Florio, Massimo
  • Sirtori, Emanuela

Abstract

This paper explores some of the methodological issues involved in a cost–benefit analysis framework for large scale capital-intensive research infrastructures. We propose a conceptual model based on the estimation of quantities and shadow prices of cost aggregates, and of six main categories of economic benefits: technological spillovers, human capital formation, knowledge outputs, cultural effects, services to third parties including consumers, and a public good, the pure value of discovery. We justify the reasons why these benefits of research infrastructures should be often expected to be the core ones in ex-ante project evaluation. Other benefits may be considered as well, but often by qualitative methods only. Empirical approaches are suggested for further applied research.

Suggested Citation

  • Florio, Massimo & Sirtori, Emanuela, 2016. "Social benefits and costs of large scale research infrastructures," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 65-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:112:y:2016:i:c:p:65-78
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2015.11.024
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    Cited by:

    1. Abad Chabbi & Henry W. Loescher, 2017. "The Lack of Alignment among Environmental Research Infrastructures May Impede Scientific Opportunities," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-8, July.
    2. Paolo CASTELNOVO & Massimo FLORIO, 2019. "Mission-oriented Public Organizations for Knowledge Creation," Departmental Working Papers 2019-09, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Massimo FLORIO & Francesco GIFFONI, 2019. "L’impatto sociale della produzione di scienza su larga scala: come governarlo?," Departmental Working Papers 2019-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Landoni, Matteo, 2020. "Knowledge creation in state-owned enterprises," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 77-85.
    5. Wenchao Xu & Yanmei Xu & Junfeng Li, 2017. "A Study of RI Clusters Based on Symbiosis Theory," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-13, March.
    6. Gelsomina CATALANO & Massimo FLORIO & Francesco GIFFONI, 2016. "Willingness to Pay for Basic Research: A Contingent Valuation Experiment on the Large Hadron Collider," Departmental Working Papers 2016-03, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Research infrastructures; Cost–benefit analysis; Externalities; Public good; Knowledge;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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