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Economic and social studies of scientific research: nature and origins

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Abstract

Interest in the role that science and scientific research play in economics and the other social sciences has exploded in the last fifty years. This attention undoubtedly reflects the increased importance that scientific research is contributing more and more to employment and economic growth, as well as the comparative advantage of countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature and origins of the studies which focus scientific research and organization (such as economics of science, sociology of science, managerial economics of research organizations, political economy of science, etc.). The paper shows as the foundations of this discipline are the works of Huxley, Bernal, Bush, Peirce, Polanyi, and Freedman and the success of the Manhattan and Rand projects (1930s-1950s) that symbolised the power of big science projects involving governments, scientists, industrialists and universities.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Coccia, 2006. "Economic and social studies of scientific research: nature and origins," CERIS Working Paper 200607, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:200607
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    2. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1974. "Science, Invention and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(333), pages 90-108, March.
    3. Salter, Ammon J. & Martin, Ben R., 2001. "The economic benefits of publicly funded basic research: a critical review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 509-532, March.
    4. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
    5. Pavitt, K, 2001. "Public Policies to Support Basic Research: What Can the Rest of the World Learn from US Theory and Practice? (And What They Should Not Learn)," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 761-779, September.
    6. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    7. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    9. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    10. Hicks, Diana, 1995. "Published Papers, Tacit Competencies and Corporate Management of the Public/Private Character of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 401-424.
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    Keywords

    Science; Scientific research; Sociology of science; Social studies of science; History of science; Research policy; Research laboratory; Research management;

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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