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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Crespi & Aldo Geuna, 2005. "Modelling and Measuring Scientific Production: Results for a Panel of OECD Countries," SPRU Working Paper Series 133, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:133

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dominique Guellec & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2003. "R&D and Productivity Growth: Panel Data Analysis of 16 OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 103-126.
    2. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    3. Aldo Geuna, 1999. "The Economics of Knowledge Production," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1689.
    4. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    5. Jesus Felipe & Franklin M. Fisher, 2003. "Aggregation in Production Functions: What Applied Economists should Know," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 208-262, May.
    6. Jacobsson, Staffan & Rickne, Annika, 2004. "How large is the Swedish 'academic' sector really?: A critical analysis of the use of science and technology indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1355-1372, November.
    7. Anthony Arundel & Aldo Geuna, 2004. "Proximity and the use of public science by innovative European firms," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 559-580.
    8. Fisher, Franklin M, 1969. "The Existence of Aggregate Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 553-577, October.
    9. Johnes, Jill & Johnes, Geraint, 1995. "Research funding and performance in U.K. University Departments of Economics: A frontier analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 301-314, September.
    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.
    11. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Cinzia Daraio, 2003. "A robust nonparametric approach to the analysis of scientific productivity," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-69, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Crespi, Gustavo A. & Geuna, Aldo, 2008. "An empirical study of scientific production: A cross country analysis, 1981-2002," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 565-579, May.
    2. Daniel Chudnovsky & Andrés López & Martín Rossi & Diego Ubfal, 2006. "Evaluating a Program of Public Funding of Scientific Activity. A Case Study of FONCYT in Argentina," OVE Working Papers 1206, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    3. Ubfal, Diego & Maffioli, Alessandro, 2011. "The impact of funding on research collaboration: Evidence from a developing country," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1269-1279.
    4. Benavente, José Miguel & Crespi, Gustavo & Figal Garone, Lucas & Maffioli, Alessandro, 2012. "The impact of national research funds: A regression discontinuity approach to the Chilean FONDECYT," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1461-1475.
    5. Diego Ubfal & Alessandro Maffioli, 2010. "The Impact of Funding on Research Collaboration: Evidence from Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2663, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. José Miguel Benavente & Gustavo Crespi & Alessandro Maffioli, 2007. "The Impact of National Research Funds: An Evaluation of the Chilean FONDECYT," OVE Working Papers 0307, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    7. Okey K. N. Mawussé, 2013. "Institutions and scientific research in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1487-1503.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:70:y:2007:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-007-0202-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Diego Ubfal & Alessandro Maffioli, 2010. "The Impact of Funding on Research Collaboration: Evidence from Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9395, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:60:y:2009:i:2:d:10.1057_palgrave.jors.2602542 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    productivity of science; lag structure; returns to HERD investment; international spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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