Discussion paper

DP19083 How to Pay for Scientific Research

Using data on 31 countries over the period from 1996 to 2016, we study the effect of the introduction of Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) on three indices of a country's scientific publications: quantity, prestige, and influence.
We find that the introduction of PBRF has modest positive effects on quantity and prestige, and no effect on influence, a measure of long-term scientific impact. Interestingly, influence is positively affected in the sub-sample of countries in which universities have a higher degree of autonomy in hiring and promotions. Consistent with recent theoretical work, this suggests an important role for the transmission channel from institutions to individual researchers.


Checchi, D, G De Fraja, C Marchiori, E Minelli and S Verzillo (2024), ‘DP19083 How to Pay for Scientific Research‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 19083. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp19083