Successful knowledge policies
In the literature and in policy circles, proposals for additional knowledge policies or reforms of existing policies are currently being discussed. Examples are the Knowledge Investment Agenda of the Innovation Platform, new innovation policies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, an advice of the Council of Economic Advisors about research, education and entrepreneurship and an advice of the Education Council.
Little is known, however, about the effects of all these policies. The question whether knowledge policy works remains difficult to answer. Despite much research effort in the past decades, the manner in which the creation and application of knowledge comes about and the way policy can influence that process are still not well understood. It is difficult, therefore, to form a good judgement about the optimal size and form of knowledge policy.
This article discusses several policy options in the fields of education, research, and innovation that are likely to have beneficial, neutral, or negative effects on overall welfare in the Netherlands. For some options, the effects are unknown. Beneficial education policies are, for instance, policies aimed at increasing teachers' quality and early childhood education programs. Additional R&D tax credits for new firms have favourable effects on innovation. A further increase in the research incentives to universities is expected to raise scientific output.