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J Public Econ. 2011 Oct 1;95(9-10):1168-1177.

The Impact of Research Grant Funding on Scientific Productivity.

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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, 48109-3091.


In this paper, we estimate the impact of receiving an NIH grant on subsequent publications and citations. Our sample consists of all applications (unsuccessful as well as successful) to the NIH from 1980 to 2000 for standard research grants (R01s). Both OLS and IV estimates show that receipt of an NIH research grant (worth roughly $1.7 million) leads to only one additional publication over the next five years, which corresponds to a 7 percent increase. The limited impact of NIH grants is consistent with a model in which the market for research funding is competitive, so that the loss of an NIH grant simply causes researchers to shift to another source of funding.

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