Public Management of Positive Research Externalities

  • Patrick Cohendet
  • Dominique Foray
  • Dominique Guellec
  • Jacques Mairesse


The purpose of this text is to highlight certain limitations of the traditional approach to positive research externalities, in the current context of knowledge-based economies (Section 2). We shall start by showing that the two basic assumptions equating knowledge with information and limiting agent interaction to competitive commercial exchanges are no longer valid, and that it is necessary to reformulate the theoretical framework of this approach (Section 3). Next we shall give some preliminary suggestions on how to rethink the principles and practices of public management of research externalities (Sections 4 and 5). Finally, in the conclusion, we shall stress that the importance of externalities is not the only justification for public intervention in the field of research, but that issues of intergenerational and intercommunity equity are also crucial, especially with regard to the allocation of resources to long-term scientific research.


Institutional Arrangement Private Initiative Negative Externality Private Return Public Management 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Cohendet
    • 1
  • Dominique Foray
    • 2
  • Dominique Guellec
    • 3
  • Jacques Mairesse
    • 4
  1. 1.Université Louis-PasteurFrance
  2. 2.Université Paris-DauphinéFrance
  3. 3.OECDFrance
  4. 4.CREST & NBERFrance

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