Basic Research

Palgrave Encyclopedia, 2015

10 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2015

Date Written: March 13, 2015


Basic research can be defined as systematic inquiry that involves a quest for some fundamental scientific aspects of phenomena without any specific practical applications in mind. The payoff of basic research is often uncertain and once published, difficult to appropriate. Accordingly, the social returns to basic research exceed the private returns, rendering it a “public good”. Basic research results in contributions to the world stock of scientific knowledge. It ultimately supports long term economic growth, increased productivity, and subsequent practical applications on a global basis.

Keywords: Scientific research; fundamental research; new knowledge; research and development; innovation, public goods

Suggested Citation

Heaton, Sohvi and Teece, David J., Basic Research (March 13, 2015). Palgrave Encyclopedia, 2015, Available at SSRN:

David J. Teece

Institute for Business Innovation ( email )

F402 Haas School of Business, #1930
Berkeley, CA 94720-1930
United States
(510) 642-4041 (Phone)

No contact information is available for Sohvi Heaton

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