Prizes for Basic Research -- Human Capital, Economic Might and the Shadow of History
This paper studies the impact of global factors on patterns of basic research across countries and time. We rely on the records of major scientific awards, and on data dealing with global economic and historical trends. Specifically, we investigate the degree to which scale or threshold effects account for countries share of major prizes [Nobel, Fields, Kyoto and Wolf]. We construct a stylized model, predicting that lagged relative GDP of a country relative to the GDP of all countries engaging in basic research is an important explanatory variable of country's share of prizes. Scale effects imply that the association between the GDP share of a country and its prize share tends to be logistic -- above a threshold, there is a "take off" range, where the prize share increases at an accelerating rate with the relative GDP share of the country, until it reaches "maturity" stage. Our empirical analysis confirms the importance of lagged relative GDP in accounting for countries' prize shares, and the presence of "winner takes all" scale effect benefiting the leader. Using measures of casualties during the wars, we find that the only significant effect can be found for a lag of 3 decades – i.e., deaths in the war negatively impact the viability of basic research about 30 years after the fact. With more recent data, we document the growing importance of countries that used to be at the periphery of global research, possibly advancing towards the take off stage.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822|
Web page: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/working.html Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "Age and Great Invention," NBER Working Papers 11359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce A. Weinberg & David W. Galenson, 2005. "Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics," NBER Working Papers 11799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008.
"A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure,"
Journal of Regional Science,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65.
- David E. Weinstein & Donald R. Davis, 2004. "Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 639, Econometric Society.
- Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "A Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure," NBER Working Papers 10252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2006. "Size Really Doesn't Matter: In Search of a National Scale Effect," NBER Working Papers 12191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul Krugman, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-667.
- Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
- Rose, Andrew K., 2006. "Size really doesn't matter: In search of a national scale effect," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 482-507, December.
- Rose, Andrew K, 2005. "Size Really Doesn't Matter: In Search of a National Scale Effect," CEPR Discussion Papers 5350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stephen S. Everhart & Mariusz A. Sumlinski, 2001. "Trends in Private Investment in Developing Countries : Statistics for 1970-2000 and the Impact on Private Investment of Corruption and the Quality of Public Investment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13989, June.
- Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2004. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 413-417, February.
- Paul A. David, "undated". "Path Dependence, its critics, and the quest for 'historical economics'," Working Papers 00011, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Paul A.David, 2005. "Path dependence, its critics and the quest for ‘historical economics’," Economic History 0502003, EconWPA.
- Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)