Economics of science: survey and suggestions

Journal of Economic Methodology 6 (1):95-124 (1999)

Abstract

The literature of an economics of science exists in a dismal no-(wo)man's-land located somewhere between economics, history, philosophy, policy, sociology and science. Perhaps it would have continued in this tenuous quasi-existence indefinitely, were it not for a series of trends that now seem to be encouraging the institution of a subfield within the profession of economics devoted to the topic. However, many of the economists who have begun to proclaim the existence of the new subfield have generally done so by starting from scratch, striving to think through the relevant problem settings and proposed solutions with little attention paid to the alternative communities mentioned above, building ?models? of science generally unrecognizable to those outside of mainstream economics. The goal of this paper is to provide the requisite materials for advancing the emerging field of economics of science by discussing the various approaches in a systematic, comparative and integrative manner.

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