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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The economic factors relating to the development of scientific research in American industry Grigg, Vernon Herbert

Abstract

The trends in the growth of research activity in American industry between 1860 and 1940 are analyzed. The economic, educational, and technological factors within the United States which served to assist the development of research activity are considered. Statistical data based on reports of the Work Projects Administration, National Research Project, and the National Resources Planning Board are employed to indicate the growth in research employment; the concentration of research employment in the larger size laboratories and in particular industries. An approximate indication of industrial research expenditures between 1920 and 1940 and the relation of research expenditures to sales, value added by manufacture, and capitalization are provided. The trends in capital formation and productivity, particularly since 1920, are given. A mathematical analysis for determining the economic life of capital equipment is provided together with an appraisal of the pertinent economic factors involved in the replacement of capital equipment and in large capital investments. The effect of technological progress on the cost and demand schedules of a firm "is analyzed with the tools of analysis developed by Chamberlin and Robinson. Patents as instruments of monopoly control are discussed and the implications of patent policies practised by certain industries to-day are indicated. The thesis concludes Toy pointing out the twofold responsibility of industrial management in maintaining the confidence of investors and in bringing the benefits of research to the whole community.

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