Competitiveness

The Road to a New Energy System: Climate Change and U.S. Competitiveness


Joel S. Yudken, Andrea M. Bassi


Some of these measures are being considered and a few have been incorporated in the current legislation. For example, Senator Brown’s Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, which was merged into the House bill, would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers retool, […]


This article is in The Road to a New Energy System, Fall 2009

Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing


Stephen Ezell


The United States suffered a precipitous decline in manufacturing during the past decade. Key to a reversal will be greatly expanded efforts to support the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized firms. At a recent Washington, DC, conference on the state of U.S. manufacturing, the head of one prominent economic policy think tank was asked, “How […]


This article is in Economic Stimulus, Winter 2012

Tapping Talent in a Global Economy: A Reverse Brain Drain


Vivek Wadhwa


The United States, long the beneficiary of talented immigrants, needs to act quickly to keep these valuable workers from leaving to pursue expanding opportunities in their home countries. Although most of the national immigration debate originates with those who want to limit immigration, U.S. policymakers should be focusing on the more important task of attracting […]


This article is in Tapping Talent in a Global Economy, Spring 2009

Promoting Research and Development The Government’s Role


Ben S. Bernanke


The rationale for federal support for basic research is well established, but the best policy for implementing this principle remains open to debate. The Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert E. Lucas Jr. wrote that once one starts thinking about long-run growth and economic development, “it is hard to think about anything else.” Although I don’t think […]


This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011

Tapping Talent in a Global Economy: U.S. Workers in a Global Job Market


Ron Hira


Government needs to collect and analyze data on the offshoring of science and technology jobs so that it can take action to nurture and encourage highly skilled U.S. workers. Among the many changes that are part of the emergence of a global economy is a radically different relationship between U.S. high-tech companies and their employees. […]


This article is in Tapping Talent in a Global Economy, Spring 2009

Renewing Economically Distressed American Communities


Michael Greenstone, Adam Looney


Deep recessions can put some places in a tailspin for decades. Some modest policies can help speed the recovery. All communities do not fare equally well after recessions and other economic shocks. Some bounce back fairly quickly. Others suffer more and take longer to recover—sometimes decades longer. A sluggish return to growth is not always […]


This article is in Energy Update, Winter 2011

The High Road for U.S. Manufacturing


Susan Helper


Manufacturing employment could be stabilized with more widespread use of advanced production methods. Government policy can play a key role. The United States has been losing manufacturing jobs at a stunning rate: 16% of the jobs disappeared in just the three years between 2000 and 2003, with a further decline of almost 4% since 2003. […]


This article is in Practical Pieces of the Energy Puzzle, Winter 2009

Fighting Innovation Mercantilism


Stephen Ezell


A growing number of countries have adopted beggar-thy-neighbor innovation policies in an effort to attract or grow high-wage industries and jobs, making the global economy less prosperous in the process. Despite the global economic downturn, indicators of global innovative activity have remained strong during the past two years. The total global output of scientific journal […]


This article is in Energy Update, Winter 2011

Perspective: Reexamining the Patent System


Robert Hunt, Brian Kahin


Is the patent system working? It depends on whom you ask. Which industry, upstream or downstream firms, public companies or small inventors? Opinions are plentiful, but answers supported by data are few. The patent system is at the heart of the knowledge economy, but there is surprisingly little knowledge about its costs and benefits. If […]


This article is in Questions That Blur Political Party Lines, Fall 2008

Innovation Policy around the World: United States: A Strategy for Innovation


Diana Farrell, Thomas Kalil


The administration’s comprehensive approach includes research, education, infrastructure, a conducive market environment, and a quest to meet national needs. On September 21, 2009, President Obama released his Strategy for American Innovation, which he unveiled in a major policy address that he gave in Troy, New York. The goal of the strategy is to establish the […]


This article is in Innovation Policy around the World, Spring 2010

Creating a National Innovation Foundation


Robert Atkinson, Howard Wial


In this blueprint, the foundation would build on the few federal programs that already promote innovation and borrow the best public policy ideas from other nations. The issue of economic growth is on the public agenda in this election year in a way that it has not been for at least 15 years. Policymakers have […]


This article is in Questions That Blur Political Party Lines, Fall 2008

Is U.S. Science in Decline?


Yu Xie


The nation’s position relative to other countries is changing, but this need not be reason for alarm. Who are the most important U.S. scientists today?” Our host posed the question to his guests at a dinner that I attended in 2003. Americans like to talk about politicians, entertainers, […]


This article is in What Next?, Spring 2014

Innovation Policy around the World: United States: The Need for Continuity


Brian Kahin, Christopher T. Hill


For the nation to achieve its ambitious goals, it must establish a permanent home for innovation policies and programs in the Department of Commerce. The time is ripe to reassess U.S. national innovation policies and programs and to consider new initiatives. A transition in political control of the White House inevitably produces a change in […]


This article is in Innovation Policy around the World, Spring 2010

Asian Successes vs. Middle Eastern Failures: The Role of Technology Transfer in Economic Development


Howard Pack


The Role of Technology Transfer in Economic Development The differences between the two regions in their openness to trade, investment, and new ideas could not be more striking, nor could the economic consequences be more stark. In 1960, Korea, Taiwan, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt were in roughly the same economic position. Average per […]


This article is in Health Care Touchstones: Cost and Quality, Spring 2008

The Hidden Risks of Energy Innovation


Michael Levi


Advocates of tackling climate change through innovation are at risk of dangerously overreaching at home and abroad; a more modest program could produce better results. Recent years have been disappointing for U.S. advocates of aggressive action on climate change. Efforts to pass comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation, which would have promoted the deployment of clean energy by […]


This article is in Science in the Gilded Age and the Birth of NAS, Winter 2013

Innovation Policy around the World: Brazil: Challenges and Achievements


Sergio Machado Rezende


The nation has rapidly grown its supply of scientists and engineers and is now meshing its research and economic development activities. Until World War II, Brazil had a small number of scientists and only an incipient institutional research base. Its industry was at an embryonic stage and based only in traditional areas. Full-time employment for […]


This article is in Innovation Policy around the World, Spring 2010

Open Access to Research for the Developing World


Matthew J. Cockerill, Bart G. J. Knols


As scientists in poor countries connect to the Internet, their colleagues in the wealthy nations must make more scientific literature available to them. Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the United Nations, noted in 2002 that “[A] wide consensus has emerged on the potential of information and communications technologies (ICT) to promote economic growth, combat poverty, […]


This article is in Ending the Inertia on Energy Policy, Winter 2008

Four Technologies and a Conundrum: The Glacial Pace of Energy Innovation


Michael E. Webber, Roger D. Duncan, Marianne Shivers Gonzalez


A first-of-its-kind analysis provides a sweeping picture of how the United States uses energy and suggests steps for technological improvement. The energy sector is the world’s largest market. Reaching billions of users, it accounts for approximately $5 trillion of economic activity and $1.8 trillion of trade annually, representing trillions of dollars of accumulated long-lived capital […]


This article is in Science in the Gilded Age and the Birth of NAS, Winter 2013

Innovation Policy around the World: Singapore: Betting on Biomedical Sciences


Lim Chuan Poh


The nation’s economy has evolved rapidly in just a few decades from labor-intensive manufacturing to high-tech production and now to corporate management and world-class research. In an April 2009 report, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council noted that Singapore, an emerging biotech cluster, was “aiming to move up the value chain and position itself as a world-class […]


This article is in Innovation Policy around the World, Spring 2010

Perspective: U.S. Competitiveness: The Mexican Connection


Christopher Wilson


A “giant sucking sound” was the memorable description made by presidential candidate Ross Perot during the 1992 campaign of the impact that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would have, as businesses and jobs moved from the United States to Mexico. The reity is that economic cooperation with Mexico has been a boon for […]


This article is in Social Science and Environmental Policy, Summer 2012

Innovation Policy around the World: European Union: Measuring Success


Patrick Cunningham


In crafting innovation policies we should be aiming not merely to increase gross domestic product but also to enhance the overall quality of life in measurable ways. In his keynote speech to the National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2009, President Obama said that “science is more essential to our prosperity, our security, our […]


This article is in Innovation Policy around the World, Spring 2010

Real Numbers: The Small Business Innovation Research Program


Albert N. Link, John T. Scott


The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 created the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to stimulate technological innovation, to use small businesses of 500 or fewer employees to meet federal R&D needs, to foster and encourage participation of minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation, and to increase private sector commercialization of innovations […]


This article is in Social Science and Environmental Policy, Summer 2012

Intangible Assets Innovative Financing for Innovation


Kenan Patrick Jarboe, Ian Ellis


For innovative companies to have adequate access to capital, accounting and lending standards must be updated to accurately assess the value of intangible assets such as intellectual property and other forms of know-how. Finding funding for a new business or idea is almost always challenging. With the recent near-collapse of the financial system, however, funding […]


This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010

The Tunnel at the End of the Light: The Future of the U.S. Semiconductor Industry


Richard Van Atta, Marko M. G. Slusarczuk


Federal intervention rescued the U.S. industry in the 1980s. In some ways, the situation is worse now, but so far there has been little talk, never mind action, about it. Today, as it was 25 years ago, U.S. leadership in the semiconductor industry appears to be in peril, with increasingly robust competition from companies in […]


This article is in Making Sense of the Adolescent Brain, Spring 2012