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Abstract

A number of very careful econometric studies have been interpreted as showing that publicly funded research and development conducted by private firms has had little discernable impact on firm level profits or productivity. In contrast historical studies have shown that military and defense-related research development and procurement conducted by private firms has been an important source of technology development across a broad spectrum of U.S. manufacturing industries. Careful narrative analysis represents a more effective way of capturing the complementarities between military and defense-related research, development, and procurement on commercial technology development than econometric analysis.

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