Calls continually are made to provide economic assessments of research program achievements and efficiency. Yet little effort has been given to develop an assessment framework that would focus on the research discovery itself, treating the research manager as a producer and the research technology as a knowledge production function. The present dissertation develops such a framework and uses it, with a variety of analytical approaches, to evaluate a two-phase international aquacultural research program consisting of 55 distinct studies. A Bayesian knowledge measure is developed for this purpose, allowing close examination of each of two knowledge creation pathways – the extent of new findings (mean surprise) and the extent of uncertainty reduction (precision). Factors affecting each of these two pathways are estimated in decomposed form, their total effects on knowledge achievement then combined to form an aggregate knowledge production function.
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