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Military R&D and Innovation

In: Handbook of the Economics of Innovation

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  • Mowery, David C.

Abstract

Government military establishments have for generations exerted an important influence on technological change in most industrial economies. Nevertheless, although the influence of military activity (waging wars, acquiring weapons, training personnel) on technological change has been pervasive for centuries, the channels through which military activity influences innovation have changed significantly, just as the structure and scale of national military establishments and the industrial societies within which they operate have changed. The extensive literature on the role of the military in technological change is largely devoted to the second half of the twentieth century, a period characterized by massive expenditures by the governments of both industrial and centrally planned economies on military R&D and procurement in “peacetime.” This chapter devotes the bulk of its discussion to the post-1945 period, and within this period, focuses mainly on US military R&D programs. There is very little comparative work on the influence (or lack of same) on innovation of military R&D programs supported by other NATO governments, which raises fundamental questions about the generalizability of the US experience that forms the foundation of this survey. One of the greatest gaps in the vast literature on military R&D and innovation is the modest scope of comparative work.

Suggested Citation

  • Mowery, David C., 2010. "Military R&D and Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1219-1256, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:haechp:v2_1219
    DOI: 10.1016/S0169-7218(10)02013-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    aircraft; government policy; information technology; innovation; Internet; machine tools; military budgets; military R&D; nuclear power; semiconductors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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