Spillovers from Science

Scientific knowledge creates value by serving as an input to technology development. Variation in such value across disciplines, institutions, and regions may inform efficient targeting of science funding. This project proposes a method to rank scientific output by the value of its knowledge spillovers to technology. Our algorithm uses the full patent-paper citation network to assign a portion of the private returns from patented inventions as spillovers from scientific publications. As such, it accounts for spillovers that affect R&D only through its effect on follow-on science, and for variation in the value of the (patented) innovations relying on science. We apply our measure to consider, in particular, the contribution of science to the value of “clean” innovations, which are required to tackle the climate crisis and an indicator of growth opportunities in the net-zero transition.

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