Monday, February 09, 2009

Should the Government Subsidize Supply or Demand in the Market for Scientists and Engineers?

This NBER paper by Romer (2000) suggests that innovation policy in the United States has erred by subsidizing the private sector demand for scientists and engineers without asking whether the educational system provides that supply response necessary for these subsidies to work. It suggests that the existing institutional arrangements in higher education limit this supply response. To illustrate the path not taken, the paper considers specific programs that could increase the numbers of scientists and engineers available to the private sector.

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