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Measuring the benefits of social science research:

  • Smith, Vincent H.
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    This paper addresses two questions: The first is "What are the benefits of social science research?"; the second is "How should they be measured?" The response to the first is that, as with research in the physical sciences, the benefits should be identified in terms of changes in economic surplus for different groups. It may be useful to use a framework that considers the incidence of the effects of social science research on firms, households, and govenment agencies. The response to the second question is that estimating returns to social science research using conventional econometric techniques may be particularly difficult. Instead, it may be necessary to resort to a case study approach, but care must be taken to ensure that the cases selected for study are genuinely representative.

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    File URL: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/iadp02.pdf
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    Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series Impact assessments with number 2.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:fpr:impass:2
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    1. Vickrey, William, 1993. "Today's Task for Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 1-10, March.
    2. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    4. Freebairn, J W, 1976. "The Value and Distribution of the Benefits of Commodity Price Outlook Information," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 52(138), pages 199-212, June.
    5. Bruce Gardner, 1981. "Efficient Redistribution in Agricultural Commodity Markets," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 20, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    6. 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.
    7. Bardsley, Peter, 1994. "The Collapse of the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1087-1105, September.
    8. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
    9. Aaron, Henry J, 1989. "Politics and the Professors Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 1-15, May.
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