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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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    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. 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.
    2. Vickrey, William, 1993. "Today's Task for Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 1-10, March.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
    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. repec:ltr:wpaper:1992.17 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Peter Bardsley, 1992. "The Collapse of the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme," Working Papers 1992.17, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    7. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
    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.
    10. 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.
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