DP339 | The Impact of Military Research and Development Priorities on the Evolution of the Civil Economy in Capitalist States

Publication Date

01/10/1989

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Abstract

Military priorities influence a significant proportion of the resources that capitalist societies devote to R&D. Some of the commanding heights of civil economies have been powerfully shaped by the opportunities created by specifically military R&D. This paper is an attempt to sketch the broadest dimension of "spin-off" from military R&D to the civil sector, namely the distortion of investment choices that arises from military underwriting of certain kinds of technological development, and to raise some possible questions for research and public policy. We start by looking at the general relationship between military and civil technology, at the different motives that drive innovation in the two sectors, and at the underlying theoretical links between these motives in capitalist societi.