Does Government R&D Policy Mainly Benefit Scientists and Engineers?

By Larry Kummar – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Does this apply to Climate Science?

Paper By Austan Goolsbee

NBER Working Paper No. 6532, Issued in April 1998

Conventional wisdom holds that the social rate of return to R&D significantly exceeds the private rate of return and, therefore, R&D should be subsidized. In the U.S., the government has directly funded a large fraction of total R&D spending.

This paper shows that there is a serious problem with such government efforts to increase inventive activity. The majority of R&D spending is actually just salary payments for R&D workers. Their labor supply, however, is quite inelastic so when the government funds R&D, a significant fraction of the increased spending goes directly into higher wages. Using CPS data on wages of scientific personnel, this paper shows that government R&D spending raises wages significantly, particularly for scientists related to defense such as physicists and aeronautical engineers. Because of the higher wages, conventional estimates of the effectiveness of R&D policy may be 30 to 50% too high.

The results also imply that by altering the wages of scientists and engineers even for firms not receiving federal support, government funding directly crowds out private inventive activity.

Full paper here.

H/T Larry K of the FabiusMaximus website.


Climate Change Agenda and the Role of Bureaucratic Scientists

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From

I began this article before the resignation of NCEI director Tom Karl was announced. His replacement will, like James Hansen’s replacement at NASA GISS, Gavin Schmidt, continue the climate adjustment program. They perpetuate themselves and their agenda; it is the nature of bureaucracies. Laurence J. Peter, author, and creator of the Peter principle expressed it well when he wrote,

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.

Karl’s resignation makes this article more germane to the wider problem of bureaucracy in general and specifically bureaucratic scientists.


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