Panel Paper: STAR Metrics, LEHD and Networks

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 2:25 PM
Chesapeake (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Maggie Levenstein and Jason Owen-Smith, University of Michigan

This paper describes the development of new variables and new tests of theory to the growing field of science policy studies.  Our work draws upon and 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 effects of federal R&D funding to universities on science and the economy. We use a network approach to develop and test new indicators of the relationship between university grant spending and scientific productivity and regional economic development. In so doing we elaborate a new method for systematically comparing and evaluating the collaborative structure of university research and the social organization of regional economies.  

 The first core database for this project will be STARMETRICS level 1, which tracks university grant-based employment and wages as well as spending outflows to vendors and subcontractors. These data will be used to construct comprehensive networks connecting individual faculty, students, and staff to research projects and to each other.   The second dataset we will mobilize is the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD), which tracks earnings and employment of individual workers along with characteristics of the organizations that employ them.  LEHD data will be used to construct 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 impact of federal R&D spending on campus.