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

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  • Gregory Tassey

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Tassey, 2014. "Competing in Advanced Manufacturing: The Need for Improved Growth Models and Policies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 27-48, Winter.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Audretsch & Albert Link, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and innovation: public policy frameworks," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, February.
    2. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "The theory and practice of public-sector R&D economic impact analysis," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation, chapter 2, pages 15-55 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reis, Anabela & Heitor, Manuel & Amaral, Miguel & Mendonça, Joana, 2016. "Revisiting industrial policy: Lessons learned from the establishment of an automotive OEM in Portugal," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 113(PB), pages 195-205.
    2. André Spithoven, Belgian Science Policy Office and Ghent University & Michel Dumont & Peter Teirlinck, Belgian Science Policy Office and KU Leuven, 2014. "Working Paper 08-14 - Public support for R&D and the educational mix of R&D employees," Working Papers 1408, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    3. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:813-829 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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