At a time when science is seen as an engine of economic growth, Paula Stephan brings a keen understanding of the cost-benefit calculations made by individuals and institutions as they compete for resources and reputation in scientific fields. She highlights especially the growing gap between the biomedical sciences and physics/engineering.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 224 x 145 x 23 mm
How Economics Shapes Science should be required reading for all scientists and students of science, who are increasingly called upon to adopt the language and logic of economics and engage in policy discussions. Paula Stephan (an economist at Georgia State University) makes her case in simple, easy-to-follow language, using timely examples... The book starts by summarizing the case that private industry alone will not invest in the socially optimal level of research, which will ultimately decrease the rate of innovation and lower economic growth. The logic is worth repeating at a time when there are calls for limiting government support for research and researchers face pressures to engage in lower-risk projects. Stephan convincingly argues that monetary incentives increasingly determine the behavior of researchers at the expense of scientists' desire to participate in the joy of solving problems, receive recognition, and obtain a good reputation.-- (03/09/2012)
Paula Stephan is the undisputed authority on the economics of science and her book is a delight. Laced with dozens of revealing anecdotes about everything from transgenic mice to the competition for high h-indexes and the Nobel Prize, How Economics Shapes Science reveals the economic logic behind the workings of modern science and makes a compelling case for using incentives to rationalize our use of scarce resources.--Charles Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics and Law, Duke University