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Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?: Military Procurement and Technology Development Hardcover – January 5, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195188042 ISBN-10: 0195188047 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"We owe Ruttan a debt of gratitude for demonstrating yet again the importance of public sector support in the development of many major technologies."--Journal of Economic Literature


About the Author


Vernon W. Ruttan is Regents Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics and Adjunct Professor in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. His research has been on technology development and economic growth. He is the author (with Yujiro Hayami) of Agricultural Development: An International Perspective (1985); United States Development Assistance Policy (1996); and Technology, Growth and Development; An Induced Innovation Perspective (OUP, 2001).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195188047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195188042
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arnulf Gruebler on May 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is about military R&D and procurement and technology development (forget the first title chosen by the publisher's marketing department; rather use the author's subtitle that tells you exactly what to expect).

It is an important, thorough, dispassionate, and easy to read book all in one.

Vernon Ruttan, distinguished economist of technological change has struck again and addressed a topic that is as explored little by scholars as it is ideologically and politically laden. Proponents try to justify any military expenditures with the (uncertain) promise of civilian "spin-offs" (in addition to ex ante declared military requirements --remember "star wars"?), and critics always highlight failures (remember nuclear powered aircrafts?) as well as excessive costs of military technologies ignoring their early life cycle nature of almost one-of-a-kind technology and the indeed substantial (even if often unplanned or unintended) civilian application potentials.

Vernon Ruttan reviews through seven careful case studies of socalled general purpose technologies the history and the economic implications of a number of military technologies that have yielded far reaching civilian applications with enormous economic and social significance: interchangeable parts in rifle manufacturing that give birth to the socalled American "system of manufacturing" (and invented in Army armories rather than in Eli Whitney's "lab"), military aircraft and propulsion systems (jet engines in particular), nuclear power (reactors), computers and semiconductors, the internet (in case you did not know, it all started with military R&D money), and finally the space industries (satellites).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett A. MccUlly on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In a highly readable attempt to understand the relationship between the military and technological innovation, the late Vernon Ruttan demonstrates that defense spending has been instrumental in the development and diffusion of paradigm shifting technologies such as airplanes and the computer. The book is non-technical and light on theory, which is largely reserved for the first and final chapters.
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Format: Hardcover
Length: 9:59 Mins
Ethan Baumgartner's review was made as part of a critical review assignment for the Spring 2013 Economics of Technology seminar at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, taught by Art Diamond. (The course syllabus stated that part of the critical review assignment consisted of the making of a video recording of the review, and the posting of the review to Amazon.)
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