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The Challenge to U.S. Leadership in High-Technology Industries (Can the United States Maintain Its Lead? Should It Try?)


  • Rachel McCulloch


The United States emerged from World War II as the acknowledged global leader in basic science and its industrial application. While U.S. science has been able to maintain that preeminence in most areas, the nation's technological lead has met increasingly formidable challenges from abroad. Although the evidence on recent U.S. performance is mixed, other nations, and especially Japan, have clearly gained ground in high-technology production and trade. The future of U.S. high-technology production has thus emerged as a major focus of public policy. This paper reviews the recent performance of U.S. high-techology industries, examines possible motives underlying government policies to promote high-technology production, and offers some guidelines for evaluating the outcomes of alternative policy regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel McCulloch, 1988. "The Challenge to U.S. Leadership in High-Technology Industries (Can the United States Maintain Its Lead? Should It Try?)," NBER Working Papers 2513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2513
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610450, January.
    2. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving B. Kravis, 1985. "The Competitive Position of U.S. Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 1557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving B. Kravis, 1986. "The Competitiveness and Comparative Advantage of U.S. Multinationals, 1957-1983," NBER Working Papers 2051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nelson, Richard R, 1986. "Institutions Supporting Technical Advance in Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 186-189, May.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K & Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "The Use of Protection and Subsidies for Entry Promotion and Deterrence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 139-152, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1996. "Patent Races, Product Standards, and International Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 21-49, February.

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