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Socioeconomic driving forces of scientific research

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  • Mario Coccia

Abstract

Why do nations produce scientific research? This is a fundamental problem in the field of social studies of science. The paper confronts this question here by showing vital determinants of science to explain the sources of social power and wealth creation by nations. Firstly, this study suggests a new general definition of science and scientific research that synthetizes previous concepts and endeavors to extend them: Science discovers the root causes of phenomena to explain and predict them in a context of adaptation of life to new economic and social bases, whereas scientific research is a systematic process, applying methods of scientific inquiry, to solve consequential problems, to satisfy human wants, to take advantage of important opportunities and/or to cope with environmental threats. In particular, science and scientific research are driven by an organized social effort that inevitably reflect the concerns and interests of nations to achieve advances and discoveries that are spread to the rest of humankind. This study reveals that scientific research is produced for social and economic interests of nations (power, wealth creation, technological superiority, etc.), rather than philosophical inquiries. A main implication of this study is that the immense growth of science in modern society is not only due to activity of scientists but rather to general social efforts of nations to take advantage of important opportunities and/or to cope with environmental threats, such as war. Empirical evidence endeavors to support the sources of scientific research for nations, described here. Finally, relationships between R&D investment and productivity, and research policy implications are discussed.

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  • Mario Coccia, 2018. "Socioeconomic driving forces of scientific research," Papers 1806.05028, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1806.05028
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mario Coccia & Greta Falavigna & Alessandro Manello, 2015. "The impact of hybrid public and market-oriented financing mechanisms on the scientific portfolio and performances of public research labs: a scientometric analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 151-168, January.
    2. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1974. "Science, Invention and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(333), pages 90-108, March.
    3. Grit Laudel, 2006. "The art of getting funded: How scientists adapt to their funding conditions," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(7), pages 489-504, August.
    4. Brent Goldfarb, 2005. "Diffusion of general-purpose technologies: understanding patterns in the electrification of US Manufacturing 1880--1930," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(5), pages 745-773, October.
    5. Mario Coccia & Emanuele Cadario, 2014. "Organisational (un)learning of public research labs in turbulent context," International Journal of Innovation and Learning, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 15(2), pages 115-129.
    6. Marios Zachariadis, 2004. "R&D‐induced Growth in the OECD?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 423-439, August.
    7. David M. Blank & George J. Stigler, 1957. "The Demand and Supply of Scientific Personnel," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan57-1, Juni.
    8. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "The Simple Economics of Research Portfolios," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 581-595, September.
    9. Cavallo, Eugenio & Ferrari, Ester & Bollani, Luigi & Coccia, Mario, 2014. "Attitudes and behaviour of adopters of technological innovations in agricultural tractors: A case study in Italian agricultural system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 44-54.
    10. Gibbons, Michael & Johnston, Ron, 1974. "The roles of science in technological innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 220-242, November.
    11. Ruttan, Vernon W., 2006. "Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?: Military Procurement and Technology Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195188042.
    12. Lichtenberg, Frank R & Siegel, Donald, 1991. "The Impact of R&D Investment on Productivity--New Evidence Using Linked R&D-LRD Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 203-229, April.
    13. Secondo Rolfo & Mario Coccia, 2005. "L'interazione fra ricerca pubblica e industria in Italia," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 4, pages 657-674.
    14. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    15. Mario Coccia, 2009. "A New Approach for Measuring and Analysing Patterns of Regional Economic Growth: Empirical Analysis in Italy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 8(2), pages 71-95.
    16. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 217-273, Elsevier.
    17. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    18. Mario Coccia & Secondo Rolfo, 2009. "Project management in public research organisations: strategic change in complex scenarios," International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3), pages 235-252.
    19. Mario Coccia, 2005. "Countrymetrics: valutazione della performance economica e tecnologia dei paesi e posizionamento dell’Italia," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 113(3), pages 377-412.
    20. Coccia, Mario, 2008. "Measuring scientific performance of public research units for strategic change," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 183-194.
    21. Giovanni Amendola & Giovanni Dosi & Erasmo Papagni, 1993. "The dynamics of international competitiveness," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 129(3), pages 451-471, September.
    22. Mario Coccia, 2008. "New organisational behaviour of public research institutions: lessons learned from Italian case study," International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(4), pages 402-419.
    23. Brecard, Dorothee & Fougeyrollas, Arnaud & Le Mouel, Pierre & Lemiale, Lionel & Zagame, Paul, 2006. "Macro-economic consequences of European research policy: Prospects of the Nemesis model in the year 2030," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 910-924, September.
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