“The Economics of Knowledge” | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

“The Economics of Knowledge”


GED Seminar Series


Thursday 21st March 2013

CO304 4-5pm



Prof Shaun Hendy

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, VUW


“The Economics of Knowledge”

How much should governments spend on science? Would we be better off diverting the science budget to finance a tax cut? If not, then what types of science should our government support? These questions do not have an easy answer. In this talk, I discuss the modern economic arguments for and against government spending on science. I will argue that while economists have adequate models for understanding trade-offs between other types of government spending, they do not yet have the tools to do this for science. I will describe recent progress towards the development of an economic theory of knowledge that can capture the difference between fundamental research in physics, say, and applied research in food technology.

Professor Hendy is a winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication prize for his communication and commentary on the links between science and technology and economic prosperity.

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