Productivity and financial support in academic bioscience

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Despite widespread awareness that scientific record and grant funding reinforce one another, empirical models of scientific production normally consider laboratory inputs to be exogenous. The present article employs a cross-section of academic bioscientists to examine the mutual relationship between research output and financial support. Information's nonrival character is such that scientific output and funding success cannot be expressed in strictly supply-and-demand terms. We find the typical bioscience laboratory to operate in a range of decreasing returns to scale and to over-invest in laboratory equipment and materials. Publication and funding success strongly reinforce one another, explaining the right-skewed success distributions often observed in science.

Keywords: L3; L30; O31; O32; O33; O38; biotechnology; research management; science funding; science productivity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Council of Applied Economic Research, 11 Indraprastha EstateNew Delhi 110002, India 2: Risk Capital and Portfolio Analysis, Bank of America, 315 Montgomery St., 12th FloorSan Francisco,CA 94104-1866, USA 3: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,Oregon State University, Corvallis,OR 97331, USA 4: Departments of Economics and Environmental Management,Portland State University, 241M Cramer HallPortland,OR 97207-0751, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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