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

by Richard R. Nelson

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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.

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