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Policy Issues

RAND's Rose-Colored Glasses: How RAND's Report on U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology Gets it Wrong

By Stephen Ezell and Robert Atkinson
September 10, 2008

In recent years a number of reports have raised alarm over the deteriorating state of U.S. science and technology (S&T) competitiveness. But a recent report by the RAND Corporation, U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology, argues that the U.S. continues to lead the world. RAND’s report has been interpreted to suggest that the “clarion call” of concern about threats to U.S. S&T competitive­ness is alarmist and overblown. However, RAND’s report contains serious structural and analytic flaws that misread the fundamental position of U.S. S&T competitiveness. In RAND’s Rose-Colored Glasses: How RAND’s Report on U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology Gets it Wrong, ITIF presents a detailed critique of the report showing that in contrast to RAND’s rosy assessment, America’s lead on a number of key S&T indicators is eroding rapidly, and in some cases vanishing entirely.

Read the full text of this report

Related Links

ITIF Forum: Is the U.S. Falling Behind in Science & Technology or Not?
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