The impact of public research contracts on scientific productivity Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2017

start page

  • 417

end page

  • 432


  • 5


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-6846

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1466-4283


  • We analyse a competitive research-oriented public programme established in Spain, the Ramon y Cajal Programme, intended to offer contracts in public research centres to high-quality researchers. We study the effects of the programme on the ex post scientific productivity of its recipients, relative to non-granted applicants with comparable curricula at the time of application. The full sample results demonstrate that the programme has a positive and significant effect on the scientific productivity of the recipients, as measured both by the amount of published contribution and by the impact of their publications. Consequently, receiving a contract affects the quantity, but also increases the quality, of the contract recipients' publications.


  • Economics


  • ramon y cajal programme; brain gain; research productivity; government research programmes; human capital; policy evaluation; matching; matching estimators; spain; plan