Estimating the Economic and Scientific Impact of Federal R&D Spending by Universities

This project links two very rich but never before combined datasets in order to develop and validate new measures of: (1) the collaborative organization of academic R&D on multiple university campuses; (2) the network structure of regional economies in the United States;  and (3) the direct and indirect impacts federal R&D funding to universities has on science and the economy.  The first core database for this project will be STARMETRICS level 1, which tracks grant-based hiring, wages and spending outflows to vendors and subcontractors. These data will be used to construct comprehensive networks connecting individual faculty, students, and staff to research project and to each other. The second dataset we will mobilize is the Longitudinal Employee Household Dataset (LEHD), which tracks payments to individual wage earners along with basic characteristics of organizations that employ them. LEHD data will be used to construct geographically identified employment mobility networks that characterize the structure of regional economies.  When linked to each other and a small set of supplementary datasets, STARMETRICS/LEHD data offer new and exciting possibilities for estimating the impacts of federal R&D spending on campus.