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Reputation and competence in publicly funded scientific research

Author

Listed:
  • Ashish Arora

    (Carnegie Mellon Univ)

  • Alfonso Gambardella

    (University of Urbino)

Abstract

This paper studies an unusually comprehensive data-set of the universe of research groups that applied to an Italian 1989 93 research programme in biotechnology and bio-instrumentation. We develop a model to test whether past publications influence the expected grants obtained by the units in this programme, and hence their publication output. We find that this effect is important, and suggest that institutional features of resource allocation in public research may have serious implications for long term divergence in research performance. We also find that to maximise the total expected publications of the programme about 85% of its budget should be allocated to the top quartile of the selected units (about 10% of applicants) ranked according to past publications. Our estimated elasticity of publications on budget is 0.6, and we find evidence of a trade-off between publications and "industrial transferability": all else held constant, projects conducted with industrial applications in mind produce about 20% fewer publications.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella, 1996. "Reputation and competence in publicly funded scientific research," Industrial Organization 9605002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9605002
    Note: Type of Document - PS; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on PostScript; pages: 29; figures: request from author. Appendices and figures not included. Contact author for them.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-132, March.
    2. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
    3. Nelson, Richard R, 1986. "Institutions Supporting Technical Advance in Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 186-189, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Qiang Zhi & Tianguang Meng, 2016. "Funding allocation, inequality, and scientific research output: an empirical study based on the life science sector of Natural Science Foundation of China," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(2), pages 603-628, February.
    2. Paul A. David & Louise C. Keely, 2003. "The Economics of Scientific Research Coalitions: Collaborative Network Formation in the Presence of Multiple Funding Agencies," Chapters,in: Science and Innovation, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. 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).
    4. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
    5. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2007. "Identifying Age, Cohort, And Period Effects In Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion And Illustration Using Simulated And Actual Data On French Physicists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-177.
    6. Paola Giuri & Myriam Mariani & Stefano Brusoni & Gustavo Crespi & Dominique Francoz & Alfonso Gambardella & Walter Garcia-Fontes & Aldo Geuna & Raul Gonzales & Dietmar Harhoff & Karin Hoisl & Christia, 2005. "Everything you Always Wanted to Know about Inventors (but Never Asked): Evidence from the PatVal-EU Survey," LEM Papers Series 2005/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2009. "Exploring the Relationship Between Scientist Human Capital and Firm Performance: The Case of Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurs in the SBIR Program," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 101-114, January.
    8. Lorenzo Rocco, 2002. "Economics of Science," Working Papers 55, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
    9. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella, 1997. "Impact of NSF support for basic research in economics," Others 9702001, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Research Productivity; Public Support; Publication; Molecular Biology; Mathew Effect; Italy; Program Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems

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