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Measuring the benefits of social science research:

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  • Smith, Vincent H.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Vincent H., 1998. "Measuring the benefits of social science research:," Impact assessments 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:impass:2
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    File URL: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/iadp02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Bardsley, Peter, 1994. "The Collapse of the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1087-1105, September.
    3. 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.
    4. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419-419.
    6. Vickrey, William, 1993. "Today's Task for Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 1-10, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Aaron, Henry J, 1989. "Politics and the Professors Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 1-15, May.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kuyvenhoven, Arie, 2014. "Impact assessment of IFPRI’s capacity-strengthening work, 1985–2010," Impact assessments 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Paarlberg, Robert L., 2014. "Impact assessment: IFPRI 2020 conference on building resilience on food and nutrition security," Impact assessments 37, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Babu, Suresh Chandra., 2000. "Impact of IFPRI's policy research on resource allocation and food security in Bangladesh," Impact assessments 13, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Ryan, James G., 1999. "Assessing the impact of rice policy changes in Viet Nam and the contribution of policy research:," Impact assessments 8, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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