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Creativity-Enhancing Technological Change in the Production of Scientific Knowledge

Author

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  • Link, Al

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

  • Scott, John

    (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

We view scientific publications as a measure of technical knowledge. Using the Solow method of functional decomposition and scientific publication data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we find that 79 percent if the increase of scientific publications per unit of scientific personnel is explained by an increase in federal R&D capital per unit of scientific personnel. We describe the unexplained or residual 21 percent as a measure of creativity-enhancing technological change, a phenomenon that offers a way to reverse the perceived slowing of the productivity of science. The explained 79 percent offers a possible metric for federal laboratories' mandated reporting of a ROI to federal R&D. Understanding the drivers of the residual 21 percent could enable public policy to mitigate the resource constraints caused by the breakdown of exponential growth of the resources devoted to science.

Suggested Citation

  • Link, Al & Scott, John, 2019. "Creativity-Enhancing Technological Change in the Production of Scientific Knowledge," UNCG Economics Working Papers 19-7, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2019_007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Bloom & Charles I. Jones & John Van Reenen & Michael Webb, 2020. "Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(4), pages 1104-1144, April.
    2. Robert D. Shelton, 2008. "Relations between national research investment and publication output: Application to an American Paradox," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 74(2), pages 191-205, February.
    3. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1.
    4. James Adams & Zvi Griliches, 1996. "Measuring Science: An Exploration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1749, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-128, Spring.
    6. John Bound & Clint Cummins & Zvi Griliches & Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe, 1984. "Who Does R&D and Who Patents?," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 21-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Scherer, F. M., 1983. "The propensity to patent," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-128, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cauwels, Peter & Sornette, Didier, 2022. "Are ‘flow of ideas’ and ‘research productivity’ in secular decline?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 174(C).
    2. Albert N. Link, 2021. "Knowledge transfers from federally supported R&D," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 249-260, March.
    3. David B. Audretsch & Albert N. Link & Martijn Hasselt, 2019. "Knowledge begets knowledge: university knowledge spillovers and the output of scientific papers from U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(3), pages 1367-1383, December.
    4. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2021. "Technological change in the production of new scientific knowledge: a second look," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 371-381, May.
    5. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2021. "Scientific publications at U.S. federal research laboratories," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(3), pages 2227-2248, March.
    6. David Bruce Audretsch & Maksim Belitski & Rosa Caiazza, 2021. "Start-ups, Innovation and Knowledge Spillovers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 46(6), pages 1995-2016, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    scientific publications; technological change; R&D; knowledge production function;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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