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Vernon W. Ruttan, Regents Professor Emeritus, Departments of Applied Economics and Economics and Adjunct Professor, Hubert H. Humphry Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota spoke about his new book, "Is War Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technology Development" (OUP, 2005).
Discussant: Carol Lancaster - Director, Mortara Center for International Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and Visiting Fellow and Member of the Board of Directors, Center for Global Development
Chaired by Ruth Levine, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Military and defense related procurement has been an important source of technology development across a broad spectrum of industries that account for an important share of United States industrial production. Ruttan’s book addresses three questions that have significant implications for the future growth of the United States economy. One is whether changes in the structure of the United States economy and of the defense-industrial base preclude military and defense related procurement from playing the role in the development of advanced technology in the future comparable to the role it has played in the past. A second question is whether public support for commercially oriented research and development will become an important source of new general-purpose technologies. A third and more disturbing question is whether a major war, or the threat of major war, will be necessary to mobilize the scientific, technical and financial resources necessary to induce the development of new general-purpose technologies.