Comparing the efficiency of countries to assimilate and apply research investment

Barbara S. Lancho-Barrantes, Hector G. Ceballos-Cancino, Francisco J. Cantu-Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the main purposes of the countries’ economic expenditure in research is to achieve higher levels of scientific results which could impact in better living standards for society. Besides, research efficiency could be considered as a way of getting the largest number of scientific results with the minimum amount of financial investment. To assess the repercussion of research investment in scientific production and measure scientific efficiency we selected a sample of 19 countries representing each region of the world. We used 17 years of social and economic indicators from the UNESCO database, and scientific data from Scopus and SciVal. We introduce two new notions of economic efficiency for national research systems: one based on the capability for assimilating R&D investment, and another based on overall productivity and impact. Through a causal model based on multiple linear regression on panel data, we model assimilation efficiency and confirm that the scientific production of a country can be explained in 98% through the GERD expressed as a percentage of GDP, and the number of Academic and Research Institutions that concentrate at least 50% of the national scientific production. And to measure countries efficiency on productivity and impact we introduce four indicators that quantify the relation between economic inputs and scientific outputs (dollars per paper (DPP), dollars per citation (DPC), citations received per 1,000 dollars invested (CIREDI) and papers produced per 1,000 dollars invested (PAPPDI)).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347–1369
Number of pages22
JournalQuality & Quantity
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2020


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