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Are there scale economies in scientific production? On the topic of locally increasing returns to scale

Schubert, Torben LU (2014) In Scientometrics 99(2). p.393-408
Abstract
In this paper the question of returns to scale in scientific production is analysed using non-parametric techniques of multidimensional efficiency measurement. Based on survey data for German research groups from three scientific fields, it is shown that the multidimensional production possibility sets are weakly non-convex and locally strictly non-convex. This suggests that the production functions for the groups in the sample are characterised by increasing returns to scale in some regions and at least constant returns to scale otherwise. This has two implications for the organisation of scientific research: first, the size of at least some groups in our sample is suboptimal and they would benefit from growth. Second, greater... (More)
In this paper the question of returns to scale in scientific production is analysed using non-parametric techniques of multidimensional efficiency measurement. Based on survey data for German research groups from three scientific fields, it is shown that the multidimensional production possibility sets are weakly non-convex and locally strictly non-convex. This suggests that the production functions for the groups in the sample are characterised by increasing returns to scale in some regions and at least constant returns to scale otherwise. This has two implications for the organisation of scientific research: first, the size of at least some groups in our sample is suboptimal and they would benefit from growth. Second, greater specialisation in certain tasks in science (e.g. transfer-oriented groups vs. research-oriented groups) would increase the output of the overall system. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Research units, Specialisation, Production, Efficiency, Returns to, scale, DEA
in
Scientometrics
volume
99
issue
2
pages
393 - 408
publisher
Akademiai Kiado
external identifiers
  • wos:000334277800010
  • scopus:84897982835
ISSN
1588-2861
DOI
10.1007/s11192-013-1207-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1d6e45e2-c360-4b48-aa63-1c6a1d71b0e2 (old id 4439513)
date added to LUP
2014-05-20 12:50:35
date last changed
2017-07-30 04:06:53
@article{1d6e45e2-c360-4b48-aa63-1c6a1d71b0e2,
  abstract     = {In this paper the question of returns to scale in scientific production is analysed using non-parametric techniques of multidimensional efficiency measurement. Based on survey data for German research groups from three scientific fields, it is shown that the multidimensional production possibility sets are weakly non-convex and locally strictly non-convex. This suggests that the production functions for the groups in the sample are characterised by increasing returns to scale in some regions and at least constant returns to scale otherwise. This has two implications for the organisation of scientific research: first, the size of at least some groups in our sample is suboptimal and they would benefit from growth. Second, greater specialisation in certain tasks in science (e.g. transfer-oriented groups vs. research-oriented groups) would increase the output of the overall system.},
  author       = {Schubert, Torben},
  issn         = {1588-2861},
  keyword      = {Research units,Specialisation,Production,Efficiency,Returns to,scale,DEA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {393--408},
  publisher    = {Akademiai Kiado},
  series       = {Scientometrics},
  title        = {Are there scale economies in scientific production? On the topic of locally increasing returns to scale},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-013-1207-1},
  volume       = {99},
  year         = {2014},
}