Why not award research grants via lotteries?

Some scholars are beginning to advocate for a partial lottery system for the awarding of research grants, an idea that is long overdue in my humble opinion. Why? Among other things, because under a random allocation system a new researcher would have just as much probability of winning an award as an established or big-name researcher does. (See links below for more details. Hat tip: The Amazing Tyler Cowen.)

  1. James Urton, How economic theory and the Netflix Prize could make research funding more efficient, via UW News.
  2. Kevin Gross & Carl T. Bergstrom, Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions, via PLOS Biology.
  3. Ferric C. Fang & Arturo Casadevall, Research funding: the case for a modified lottery, via mBio.
     
Image result for lottery for research grants

Credit: Fang & Casadevall

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a law professor at the College of Business of the University of Central Florida.
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