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The Funding of Economics Research: Does Social Capital Matter for Success at the National Science Foundation?


  • Robert M. Feinberg

    (American University)

  • Gregory N. Price

    (North Carolina A&T State University)


Utilizing data on research proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Economics Program over a 5-year period, this paper examines whether the social capital stock of grant applicants enhances their access to research resources by increasing the probability of being awarded a research grant. We estimate latent-variable specifications of the NSF decision to fund a research proposal. Our results show that, given ability, being a National Bureau of Economic Research associate increases the probability of a research proposal being funded. We interpret this as being consistent with the hypothesized causal effects of social capital. 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert M. Feinberg & Gregory N. Price, 2004. "The Funding of Economics Research: Does Social Capital Matter for Success at the National Science Foundation?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 245-252, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:245-252

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    Cited by:

    1. Lawson, Cornelia & Geuna, Aldo & Finardi, Ugo, 2021. "The funding-productivity-gender nexus in science, a multistage analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(3).
    2. Abdul Munasib, 2007. "Social Capital at the Individual Level A Reduced Form Analysis," Economics Working Paper Series 0703, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    3. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ginther, Donna K., 2017. "Show me the Money: Federal R&D Support for Academic Chemistry, 1990–2009," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1454-1464.
    4. Price, Gregory N., 2009. "The problem of the 21st century: Economics faculty and the color line," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-343, March.
    5. 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 LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201902, University of Turin.
    6. Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok, 2016. "A Skeptical View of the National Science Foundation's Role in Economic Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 235-248, Summer.
    7. Sebastian Hoenen & Christos Kolympiris, 2020. "The Value of Insiders as Mentors: Evidence from the Effects of NSF Rotators on Early-Career Scientists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(5), pages 852-866, December.
    8. Gregory Price, 2007. "Would Increased National Science Foundation Research Support To Economists At Historically Black College And Universities Increase Their Research Productivity?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 87-109, June.

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