Background Papers

The Initiative has produced two background papers for the user community that guide the design of infrastructure for evaluating the selection of funded research projects.

Impact Evaluation for Science Funding

Best Practices for Funding Early Careers of Scientists:  Evidence and Unanswered Questions

Research Papers on the Science of Science Funding

This is a short bibliography of research papers that might be helpful to anyone who is learning about the science of science funding:

  • Arora, A., & Gambardella, A. (2005). The impact of NSF support for basic research in economics. Annales d’Economie et de Statistique, Contributions in memory of Zvi Griliches, 91–117.
  • Azoulay, P., Zivin, J. S. G., Li, D., & Sampat, B. N. (2015). Public R&D investments and private-sector patenting: evidence from NIH funding rules. The Review of Economic Studies  National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from
  • Boudreau, K. J., Guinan, E. C., Lakhani, K. R., & Riedl, C. (2016). Looking across and looking beyond the knowledge frontier: Intellectual distance, novelty, and resource allocation in science. Management Science62(10), 2765-2783.
  • Bush, Vannevar. 1945. Science: The Endless Frontier. Washington, DC: US General Printing Office.
  • Dasgupta, Partha and Paul A. David.  Toward a new economics of science. Research policy 23, no. 5 (1994): 487-521.
  • Stephan, P. E. (1996). The economics of science. Journal of Economic literature34(3), 1199-1235.
  • Stephan, Paula E. How economics shapes science. Vol. 1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
  • Gush, J., Jaffe, A. B., Larsen, V., & Laws, A. (2015). The Effect of Public Funding on Research Output: The New Zealand Marsden Fund (Working Paper No. 21652). National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from
  • Jaffe, A. B. (2002). Building programme evaluation into the design of public research-support programmes. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 18(1), 22–34.
  • Nelson, R. R. (1959). The simple economics of basic scientific research. Journal of political economy67(3), 297-306.
  • Wang, J, Veugelers, R., Stephan, P. 2017, Bias against novelty in science: a cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators, Research Policy, 46, 1416-1436. Also published as NBER working paper 22180; See also