Marginal REVOLUTION — Small Steps Toward A Much Better World:
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For example, one common approach to defending NSF grants for economists is to list the prestigious individuals with whom the program has been associated. In his paper in this journal, Moffitt notes: “The program has supported every Nobel Prize winner in Economics since 1998 and almost every John Bates Clark medal winner since 1961.”
Talk of how these grants brought about innovations in the culinary arts—such as sous vide, molecular gastronomy, and the introduction of quinoa to the American diet—would also not swing the argument
We are not against any role for the NSF, however, but instead suggest that funds would be better spent on replication, public-use datasets and “far-out”, high-risk research. We also suggest other funding mechanisms such as prizes.