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The Economics of Science

Paula Stephan

Journal of Economic Literature, 1996, vol. 34, issue 3, 1199-1235

Abstract: This essay examines in an interdisciplinary context the contributions that economists have made to the study of science and the types of contributions the profession is positioned to make in the future. Special emphasis is placed on the public nature of knowledge and characteristics of the reward structure that encourage the production and sharing of knowledge. Scientific labor markets are discussed as are life-cycle models. The role that resources play in discovery leads to the conclusion that the human capital model is not up to the task of explaining the career patterns that emerge in science. The essay also discusses the relationship of scientific research to economic growth.

Date: 1996
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