Exchange Opportunities between Think Tanks and Academia: Allocation versus Symbiosis in the Structure of Intellectual Production

27 Pages Posted:

Date Written: December 12, 2021`

Abstract

Are think tanks primarily middlemen of ideas that translate academic work for activists and policy makers? Is a crisis, real or imagined, necessary for reform? I treat reform as an economic production process and contrast the allocation and exchange paradigms for modeling how think tanks and academia coordinate efforts to produce institutional change. A traditional model of the intellectual structure of production maintains a linear supply-chain approach, with academics as idea originators. This traditional model implicitly treats intellectual production as a problem of resource allocation. Yet, when viewed instead through the exchange paradigm, the intellectual structure of production resembles a dynamic network of symbiotic relationships. As technologies of idea dissemination advance, coordination between think tanks and academics increasingly resembles a multidimensional, multidirectional network of nonmarket-exchange opportunities. In the resource-allocation paradigm, donors seek a return on investments within particular stages of intellectual production, but when the structure of intellectual production is viewed through the exchange paradigm, the better question may be how to support exchange opportunities between academics and think tanks.

Keywords: ideas, think tanks, structure of intellectual production, status quo, institutional change

JEL Classification: A11, D78, E65

Suggested Citation

Lopez, Edward J., Exchange Opportunities between Think Tanks and Academia: Allocation versus Symbiosis in the Structure of Intellectual Production (December 12, 2021`). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Edward J. Lopez (Contact Author)

Western Carolina University ( email )

College of Business
Forsyth 224C
Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.edwardjlopez.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
5
PlumX Metrics