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The impact of the Italian Space Agency on scientific knowledge: Evidence from academic publications

Davide Vurchio and Anna Giunta ()

Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 2021, vol. 92, issue 3, 511-529

Abstract: Industrial and research activities in the space sector involve a heterogeneous group of actors such as private and public firms, universities, research institutes and space agencies, collaborating to different stages of missions’ realization. Such collaborations are associated to the creation of spillover effects, proxied in different ways, such as the number of patents recorded, post‐graduate students involved, spin‐off activities and co‐authored papers. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of the collaboration between universities /research institutes and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). To this aim, we focus on papers where the authors acknowledge grants received by ASI. We use data on publications and citations to capture the association between ASI funding of a large number of scientific articles published in the period 1989–2017 and the quality of research, proxied by the number of citations received. By performing parametric estimates with multiple levels of fixed effects (year, author and coauthors fixed effects), we find that articles mentioning ASI in the funding information are associated to a higher citation impact with respect to articles not financially supported by ASI. Such result suggests a positive impact on the scientific community of public funds granted to universities and research institutes.

Date: 2021
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