James Adams

Professor, Economics

James D. Adams is Professor of Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. In addition, he is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Rensselaer he was Professor of Economics at the University of Florida. He has also held visiting appointments at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago. He recently served on the Telecommunications R&D Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC and currently advises the Advanced Technology Program of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology on issues of data quality and policy evaluation. He received a BA in economics from the University of New Mexico in 1967 and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1976.
Dr. Adams has published numerous articles on the economics of technical change, with emphasis on the causes and consequences of industrial and academic research and development, as well as articles in the fields of labor and public economics. His current research focuses on the limits of the firm in research and development, the measurement of scientific influence, the identification of alternative channels of knowledge externalities in the economy, the structure and meaning of scientific teams and collaborations, the speed of diffusion of scientific research, and the determinants of research and teaching productivity in academia.


Ph.D., Economics, University of Chicago, 1976

MA, University of Chicago, 1969

BA (Magna Cum Laude), University of New Mexico, 1967

Research Focus
  • research, technological change and research and development
Select Works
  • “The Growing Allocative Inefficiency of the U.S. Higher Education Sector,” (With J. Roger Clemmons), forthcoming.
  • “Learning, Internal Research, and Spillovers,” The Economics of Innovation and New Technology 15 (January 2006): 5-36.