S. Wurster, F. Wolf

Institute for Political Science Heidelberg (GERMANY)
The article describes the division of labor between the state and the private sector in the field of research and development (R&D), analyzes its causes and gauges its impact in terms of performance. The output analysis of public activities is thereby not only an end in itself. In fact it should enrich the outcome analysis as far as possible.
Theoretical starting points are both reflections on the possibilities and limits of government intervention in this specific policy field and the ‘varieties of capitalism’-debate. In addition to financial incentives from the state, the importance of additional public management instruments (legal requirements and prohibitions, cooperation arrangements, etc.) will also be discussed.
To measure the outcome performance in the R&D sector, we use a broad range of indicators (density and quality of publication, patent generation, production of technology, etc.). These indicators capture the most important dimensions of a successful research activity. For the quantitative performance analysis a wide spectrum of potential determinants is considered. In addition to traditional explanatory variables of state activity research, it also includes research policy-specific factors. It is particularly referred to innovation systems and science networks.
Four important findings emerge: First, above-average total R&D expenditures are solely observed in states where the private sector contributes the lion’s share. Second, they are one of the most important determinants of R&D performance. Third, high expenditures as well as extraordinary performance can only be found in either highly organized or rather liberal market economies, but not in the medium range. Fourth, most other determinants of welfare and educational policies are hardly relevant in the case of R&D, pointing out the need for further research.