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Government Subsidies to Private Military R&D Investment: DOD's IR&D Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

A relatively obscure defense procurement policy establishes a large subsidy to private military R&D investment. On the surface, it appears that the marginal subsidy to such investment is zero, but this is only true in the short run. Due to DOD's policy of allowable-cost determination, the long-run subsidy is substantial. It is much larger, in fact, than the subsidy provided by the R&D Tax Credit enacted in 1981. I calculate the subsidy by estimating an econometric model using contractor-level data from the Defense Contract Audit Agency. This subsidy may have an important influence on the amount and character of privately financed innovation in the U.S.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2745.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
Publication status: published as Defense Economics, Vol. 1, pp. 149-158, (1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2745
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  1. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1988. "The Private R&D Investment Response to Federal Design and Technical Competitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 550-559, June.
  2. Reppy, Judith, 1977. "Defense department payments for `company-financed' R&D," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 396-410, October.
  3. William P. Rogerson, 1988. "Profit Regulation of Defense Contractors and Prizes for Innovation : Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 759, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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