Political Influence behind the Veil of Peer Review: An Analysis of Public Biomedical Research Funding in the United States
The U.S. public biomedical research system is renowned for its peer review process that awards federal funds to meritorious research performers. Although congressional appropriators do not earmark federal funds for biomedical research performers, I argue that they support allocations for those research fields that are most likely to benefit performers in their constituencies. Such disguised transfers mitigate the reputational penalties to appropriators of interfering with a merit-driven system. I use data on all peer-reviewed grants by the National Institutes of Health during the years 1984-2003 and find that performers in the states of certain House Appropriations Committee members receive 5.9-10.3 percent more research funds than those at unrepresented institutions. The returns to representation are concentrated in state universities and small businesses. Members support funding for the projects of represented performers in fields in which they are relatively weak and counteract the distributive effect of the peer review process. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
- Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-163, February.
- Alvarez, R Michael & Saving, Jason L, 1997.
"Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays,"
Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 55-73, July.
- Alvarez, Michael R. & Saving, Jason, 1995. "Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Working Papers 898, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:4:p:665-690. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.