Modelling and Measuring Scientific Production: Results for a Panel of OECD Countries
This paper presents results from employing an econometric approach to examine the determinants of scientific production at cross-country level. The aim of this paper is not to provide accurate and robust estimates of investment elasticities (a doubtful task given the poor quality of the data sources and the modelling problems), but to develop and critically assess the validity of an empirical approach for characterising the production of science and its impact from a comparative perspective. We employ and discuss the limitations of a production function approach to relate investment inputs to scientific outputs using a sample of 14 countries for which we have information about Higher Education Research and Development (HERD). The outputs are taken from the Thomson ISI® National Science Indicators (2002) database on published papers and citations. The inputs and outputs for this sample of countries have been recorded for a period of 21 years (1981-2002). A thorough discussion of data shortcomings is presented in this paper. On the basis of this panel dataset we investigate the profile of the time lag between the investment in HERD and the research output and the returns to national investment in science. We devote particular attention to analysis of the presence of cross-country spillovers. We show their relevance and underline the international effect of the US system.
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