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Competing in Advanced Manufacturing: The Need for Improved Growth Models and Policies

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  • Gregory Tassey
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    Abstract

    The United States has underinvested for several decades in a set of productivity-enhancing assets necessary for the long-term health of its manufacturing sector. Conventional characterizations of the process of bringing new advanced manufacturing products to market usually leave out two important elements: One is "proof-of-concept research" to establish broad "technology platforms" that can then be used as a basis for developing actual products. The second is a technical infrastructure of "infratechnologies" that include the analytical tools and standards needed for measuring and classifying the components of the new technology; metrics and methods for determining the adequacy of the multiple performance attributes of the technology; and the interfaces among hardware and software components that must work together for a complex product to perform as specified. If the public?private dynamics are not properly aligned to encourage proof-of-concept research and needed infratechnologies, then promising advances in basic science can easily fall into a "valley of death" and fail to evolve into modern advanced manufacturing technologies that are ready for the marketplace. Each major technology has a degree of uniqueness that demands government support sufficiently sophisticated to allow efficient adaptation to the needs of its particular industry, whether semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, computers, communications equipment, medical equipment, or some other technology-based industry.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.28.1.27
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/ds/2801/2801-0027_ds.zip
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 27-48

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:28:y:2014:i:1:p:27-48

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.28.1.27
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    1. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-73, December.
    2. David Audretsch & Albert Link, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and innovation: public policy frameworks," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, February.
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