Big Technology, the Technology Gap, and a Dangerous Policy Pitfall.

by Richard R. Nelson

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback18 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

The technology gap between the United States and Europe is discussed in the context of an alleged massive U.S. support of "big science and technology," and of the unprofitable policy that could result from such an interpretation of the situation. Excepting space and defense, U.S. big science is probably less involved in creating a technology gap than most Europeans seem to believe. Association of the economic progress of the United States with large government-financed R&D programs may not only be a mistake, but may also lead European governments to squander resources on similar programs. The United States, in turn, could be led into a meaningless and expensive technological race with Europe. (See also P-3694-1.) 18 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.