Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

R&D Investment Trends: U.S. Needs More High-Tech



Gregory C. Tassey


A varied set of barriers inhibit approaching some optimum for R&D investment. Among them is the fact that the majority of R&D is still performed in the manufacturing sector, which continues to shrink as a portion of GDP. R&D Performance within the U.S. economy is also concentrated geographically, with 10 states accounting for two-thirds of total R&D. Moreover, the composition of R&D is skewed among the portfolio of key emerging technologies and among phases in the R&D process. Whereas the portfolio composition problem is relatively easily solved, the phase composition problem is not.The result of a continuation of these patterns will be constraints on long-term economic growth. Several major indicators support this prediction. Productivity growth, recently touted as being above trend, may not be as robust as supposed. The trade balance in goods has been in deficit for over 20 years and the high-tech portion of this trade will move into deficit for the first time in 2002. Finally, corporate profits' share of GDP has been below rend for the past two decades. These indicators should not be ignored in the face of steadily increasing technology-based global competition.
Research Technology Management
No. 2


competitiveness, long-term growth, R&D investment, R&D policy
Created March 1, 2003, Updated February 17, 2017