Principal-agent theory and research policy: An introduction

Dietmar Braun, David H. Guston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The rational choice perspective is prominent in many sociological, economic and political science literature but has been undervalued until now in the field of science studies. This special issue attempts to revalorise this perspective by introducing the principal-agent theory with relation to research policy-making. The introduction presents the basic features of the model of principal-agent and reviews the theoretical development and applications in research policy. It summarises the main findings of the articles in this issue and concludes that the studies in the framework of principal-agent demonstrate the willingness of combining theoretical rigour and 'requisite variety' by applying the theory to a large number of different fields linked to research policy-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Principal-agent theory and research policy: An introduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this