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Measuring the Impacts of Research Investments: Beyond the Economic Approach

Published Date January 22, 2020
Research Type

Abstract

Research is funded from public coffers to solve problems and create opportunities. Those government officers and legislators funding research do so in anticipation of results, but these results can be difficult to measure. Policy officials have good intentions to respond to public calls for accountability; but the complexity of cause-and-effect relationships. Economic measures are better known, but social impact measures are growing in number. This paper reports on a scanning done of existing policy papers and academic literature to identify possible measures for social benefits of research. The review finds that, when measuring for social impact, a combination of measures, linked to an understanding of intent, is required to provide a full assessment of benefit.

Measuring the Impacts of Research Investments: Beyond the Economic Approach
C Wagner
Available at SSRN 3523823