The Research Money Can't Buy: The Impact of Funding on Scientists’ Research Behavior

34 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2017

See all articles by Keyvan Vakili

Keyvan Vakili

London Business School

Michael Blomfield

London Business School

Date Written: December 30, 2016

Abstract

While corporations increasingly rely on academic science and greater financial resources are directed to academic research, we know little about how external funding affects the research direction and behavior of academic scientists. We explore this question by exploiting the unexpected decline in federal funding for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research in the United States in 2001. We find little evidence that the policy change had a significant effect on U.S. scientists’ hESC output. However, U.S. scientists experienced a relative decrease in their output in other stem cell subfields. They were also more likely to move from academia to industry following the policy change. These results provide novel insights into how scientists strategically respond to funding policies to maintain their focus on research lines perceived more promising by their peers. We discuss how misaligned financial and reputational incentives may have important unintended consequences for those funding academic science.

Keywords: Innovation direction, funding, research direction, research behavior, division of labor

Suggested Citation

Vakili, Keyvan and Blomfield, Michael, The Research Money Can't Buy: The Impact of Funding on Scientists’ Research Behavior (December 30, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2924532 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2924532

Keyvan Vakili (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Michael Blomfield

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
35
Abstract Views
255
PlumX Metrics