Funding for Social Science Research Pays Its Way
Innovation is necessary to sustain prosperity in economic life in Australia. We must ensure we invest in all forms of innovation, not merely in technological development. For innovation also takes place at the level of policy—indeed merely implementing new technology presupposes policy development. This form of innovation is the accomplishment of the social sciences. Social science research is a wise investment. It adds value not only to cultural life in the familiar ways, but it is also financially prudent, repaying its investment at rates comfortably exceeding hurdle rates. This submission adduces two case studies which illustrate this: The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and Australia’s universal health insurance system. Both programs are of great economic value, and are the result of relatively inexpensive social science research….