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An Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy's Civilian R & D Budget

Ronald J. Sutherland

Year: 1989
Volume: Volume 10
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol10-No1-5
View Abstract

The Department of Energy's R&D budget has experienced major changes in funding during the last two administrations. These changes are explained by administration policies that are based on perceived conditions of market failure. Government funding of R&D can be supported on grounds of externalities, public goods and the absence of national contingency markets. Such funding cannot be justified on grounds of being long-term or high-risk. A portfolio model offers insights as to the appropriate definition of risk, a social discount rate and a balanced portfolio of R&D projects.

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