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Research Risk and Public Policy: The Relative Research Efficiency of Government versus University Labs


  • Leyden, Dennis

    () (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)

  • Link, Albert

    () (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)


Motivated by the question of which institutions within our, or any nation’s, national innovation system will leverage economic growth in the greatest amount for a given investment in innovation, we compare and contrast the behavior of two types of research institutions: government research laboratories (hereafter, labs) and university research labs. Because of a unique blend of institutional structures and rewards, we argue that universities are in a better position than government labs to provide the research necessary to stimulate economic growth. We then test and validate our model empirically using a unique database on the research output from university and government information retrieval (IR) labs.

Suggested Citation

  • Leyden, Dennis & Link, Albert, 2011. "Research Risk and Public Policy: The Relative Research Efficiency of Government versus University Labs," UNCG Economics Working Papers 11-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2011_003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
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    5. Matthew T. Johnson, 2013. "The Impact of Business Cycle Fluctuations on Graduate School Enrollment," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 77da29f047574fbfb5f216d63, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    9. Rothstein, Jesse & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2011. "Constrained after college: Student loans and early-career occupational choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-163, February.
    10. Lee Hansendn, W. & Rhodes, Marilyn S., 1988. "Student debt crisis: Are students incurring excessive debt?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 101-112, February.
    11. Duca, John V. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1994. "Borrowing constraints and access to owner-occupied housing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-322, June.
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    More about this item


    R&D; university labs; government labs; information retrieval;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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