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From Market Magic to "Calypso" Science Policy

Feb 1997
Working Paper
485
By  Paul A. David

The current reconsideration of public research funding policies in the U.S., and U.K. and other industrialized economies makes it important that policy makers and the public understand the valid economic grounds for government support of science. This review article of a book recently published in Britain and the U.S., which argues for the ending of all government support of non-military R&D, provides an occasion to take stock of what is known about the subject. This review article concludes that laissez-faire science policy arguments advanced by Terrance Kealey's book are analytically without foundation, and are based upon distortions and misinterpretations of the evidence of economic history, as well as on the misuse of economic methods.

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paul david
paul a. david