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Who leads research productivity change? Guidelines for R&D policy-makers


  • Jiménez, Fernando

    (INGENIO (CSIC-UPV)-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

  • Zabala Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel

    (CIRCLE, Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy, Lund, Sweden)

  • Zofío, José Luis

    () (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)


We rely on efficiency and productivity analysis based on Malmquist indices to evaluate to what extent policy-makers have been able to promote the creation and consolidation of comprehensive research groups that contribute to the implementation of a successful innovation system. We suggest that this dynamic evaluation offers relevant information to current ex-post policy evaluation methods, helping decision makers to readapt and reorient policies and their associated means, most notably resource allocation (financial schemes), to better respond to the actual needs of promising research groups in their search for excellence (micro-level perspective), and to adapt future policy design to the achievement of medium-long term policy objectives (meso and macro level perspectives). We apply this methodology to the case of the Spanish R&D Food Technology Program finding that a large size and a comprehensive multi-dimensional research output are the key features of the leading groups exhibiting high efficiency and productivity levels. Identifying these groups as benchmark, we conclude that the financial grants allocated by the program, typically aimed at small-sized and partially oriented research group, have no succeeded in reorienting them in time so as to overcome their limitations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiménez, Fernando & Zabala Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Zofío, José Luis, 2010. "Who leads research productivity change? Guidelines for R&D policy-makers," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2010/07, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  • Handle: RePEc:uam:wpaper:201007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jiménez-Sáez, Fernando & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Zofío, José L. & Castro-Martínez, Elena, 2011. "Evaluating research efficiency within National R&D Programmes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 230-241, March.
    2. Ray, Subhash C & Desli, Evangelia, 1997. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1033-1039, December.
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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:112:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2380-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:100:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1288-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Innovation Policy; Management; Malmquist Index.;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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