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Project Selection in NIH: A Natural Experiment from ARRA

Published on Jul 1, 2015in Resources Conservation and Recycling7.04
· DOI :10.1016/j.respol.2015.03.004
Hyunwoo Park9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
Jeongsik Lee8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Drexel University),
Byung-Cheol Kim7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract
Using a natural experiment in research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, we study the NIH's revealed preference in project selection. We do so by comparing the characteristics of the projects additionally selected for funding due to an unexpected increase in resources under the ARRA with those supported through regular NIH budget. We find that the regular-funded projects are on average of higher quality, as measured by the number of publications per project and the impact of these publications, than ARRA-funded projects. Moreover, compared to ARRA projects, regular projects are more likely to produce highest-impact articles and exhibit greater variance in research output. The output from regular projects also seems more closely fitting the purpose of funding. The differences in project quality are largely explained by observable attributes of the projects and research teams, suggesting that the NIH may use these attributes as cues for discerning underlying project quality. In addition, ARRA projects are more likely than regular projects to involve investigators with past grant experience. Many of these inter-group differences are specific to R01 grants, the largest funding category in the NIH. Overall, these results suggest that the NIH's project selection appears generally in line with its purported mission. In particular, our results contrast starkly with the frequent criticism that the NIH is extremely risk-averse and unwarrantedly favors experienced investigators. We discuss the implications of our findings on the NIH's behavior in project selection.
  • References (37)
  • Citations (8)
References37
Newest
#1José Miguel Benavente H. (UAI: Adolfo Ibáñez University)H-Index: 13
#2Gustavo Crespi T. (BID: Inter-American Development Bank)H-Index: 19
Last.Alessandro Maffioli (BID: Inter-American Development Bank)H-Index: 13
view all 4 authors...
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#2Mark O. Lively (Wake Forest University)H-Index: 23
#1Pierre Azoulay (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 18
#2Joshua Graff Zivin (NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)H-Index: 32
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Cited By8
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#1Laura P. Forsythe (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 13
#2Lori Frank (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 28
Last.Suzanne Schrandt (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute)H-Index: 3
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#1Jian Wang (LEI: Leiden University)H-Index: 13
#2You-Na Lee (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 6
Last.John Walsii (Georgia Institute of Technology)H-Index: 30
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#1Erjia Yan (Drexel University)H-Index: 19
#2Chaojiang Wu (Drexel University)H-Index: 4
Last.Min Song (Yonsei University)H-Index: 18
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#1Misha Teplitskiy (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 4
#2Von Bakanic (CofC: College of Charleston)H-Index: 2
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