NMC's economics research contributes to knowledge of how public investments in scientific research influence the rate and novelty of scientific advances, and ultimately improve social welfare. Currently funded projects at the NMC focus on evaluating effects of changes in U.S. science funding on biomedical research and development. New research initiatives are also underway to assist New Mexico's public research universities in identifying and estimating the economic impacts of State, Federal, and private sector investments in their universities' research and education.

Collaborative Research: Balancing the Portfolio: Efficiency and Productivity of Federal Biomedical R&D Funding

Margaret Blume-Kohout, New Mexico Consortium

This cross-disciplinary, cross-institution collaborative research project combines economic analysis with state-of-the-art methods from statistical machine learning, to assess the relative efficiency and efficacy of research and development expenditures across the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) portfolio of extramural projects. The novel combination of econometric, topic modeling, and document classification approaches permits analysis of massive collections of grant abstracts and scientific publications, identification of latent research topics present in NIH-funded research, assessment of possible spillover effects across research topics, and evaluation of causal linkages between changes in NIH funding by research topic and scientific advances. Two specific research outcomes are considered: scientific publications, classified by topic; and pharmaceutical innovation, measured by drugs entering into clinical development to treat specific diseases. Planned research also includes refinement of existing economic theory to produce normative evaluations of the allocation of public research spending.

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