I estimate the impact of a historic grant program, funded by George Soros, that provided grants to over 28,000 Soviet scientists shortly after the end of the USSR. Exploiting a discontinuity in the grant eligibility formula, I show that the grants more than doubled publications on the margin, significantly induced scientists to remain in the science sector, and had long-lasting impacts. While existing evidence shows negligible impacts of scientific grants, I show that funding for science can have high marginal returns when funding levels are low relative to the stock of human capital.
"Saving Soviet Science: The Impact of Grants When Government R&D Funding Disappears."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: Infrastructures; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing
Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
Technological Change: Government Policy
Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Public Economics