Chapter

Is War Necessary?

Vernon W. Ruttan

in Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195188042
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783410 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195188047.003.0008
 Is War Necessary?

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Several important questions bear on the impact of military and defense-related research, development, and procurement on future technology development in the U.S. One is whether changes in the structure of the American economy and of the defense industrial base preclude military procurement from playing a role in the development of advanced technology comparable to that it played in the past. Another is whether the military and defense-related industries have become so small relative to the size of the U.S. industrial sector that they no longer exert significant leverage on the rate and direction of technical change. A more disturbing question is whether a war, or threat of war, will be necessary to induce the mobilization of the scientific, technical, and financial resources to generate new general-purpose technologies. It is argued that war or its threat will be a less powerful inducement to technical change in the first half of the 21st century than it was during the last half of the 20th century.

Keywords: general-purpose technologies; industrial sector; war; resource mobilization

Chapter.  12404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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