Massimo Florio, founder and honorary president of CSIL, Professor of Public Economics at the University of Milan, has recently authored a new book published by MIT Press.
The monograph presents a proposal for using cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the socio-economic impact of public investment in large scientific projects.
“Large particle accelerators, outer space probes, genomics platforms: all are scientific enterprises managed through the new form of the research infrastructure, in which communities of scientists collaborate across nations, universities, research institutions, and disciplines. Such large projects are often publicly funded, with no accepted way to measure the benefits to society of these investments. In this book, Massimo Florio suggests the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to evaluate the socio-economic impact of public investment in large and costly scientific projects”.
The justification of public investments in research infrastructures as a way to promote innovation and technological development is a debated subject. Florio develops a framework to measure social welfare effects in the research infrastructure context and analyses benefits in terms of the social agents involved, as well as the willingness of taxpayers to fund research.
The book is available here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/investing-science