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Science and Industry: Tracing the Flow of Basic Research through Manufacturing and Trade

  • James D. Adams


    (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA)

  • J. Roger Clemmons


    (Institute for Child Health Policy, College of Medicine of the University of Florida, PO Box 100147, Gainesville, FL 32610-0147)

This paper describes flows of basic research through the U.S. economy and explores their implications for scientific output at the industry and field level. The time period is the late 20th century. This paper differs from others in its use of measures of science rather than technology. Together its results provide a more complete picture of the structure of basic research flows than was previously available. Basic research flows are high within petrochemicals and drugs and within a second cluster composed of software and communications. Flows of chemistry, physics, and engineering are common throughout industry; biology and medicine are almost confined to petrochemicals and drugs, and computer science is nearly as limited to software and communications. In general, basic research flows are more concentrated within scientific fields than within industries. The paper also compares effects of different types of basic research on scientific output. The main finding is that the academic spillover effect significantly exceeds that of industrial spillovers or industry basic research. Finally, within field effects exceed between field effects, while the within- and between industry effects are equal. Therefore, scientific fields limit basic research flows more than industries.

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Paper provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics in its series Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics with number 0614.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0614
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  1. Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Determinants of Knowledge Flows and Their Effect on Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 308-322, May.
  2. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1998. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citation," Papers 11-98, Tel Aviv.
  3. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
  4. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Keller, W., 1997. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Working papers 9620r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. James D. Adams & J. Roger Clemmons & Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "Standing on Academic Shoulders: Measuring Scientific Influence in Universities," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 61-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  9. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1992. "General Purpose Technologies "Engines of Growth?"," NBER Working Papers 4148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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