Must Read: An Economist’s Argument for TBED

June 06, 2019
By: Mark Skinner

It is extremely rare for SSTI to use those first two words in a Digest headline. We feel that compulsion today because of a unique (using its original OED definition of “first/one of a kind”) monograph prepared by Greg Tassey, an esteemed economist who served for much of his career as Senior Economist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Throughout his work, he has focused an economist’s lens on public policy’s role in technology, standards, economic growth, and industrial innovation, among other related topics. In this paper, Tassey turns his critical analysis toward technology-based economic development (TBED).

In Regional Technology-Based Economic Development: Policies and Impacts in the U.S. and Other Economies, Tassey presents an extremely cogent examination of the underlying economic rationale for public intervention in a globally competitive, innovation-based economy. He explores the market failures addressed by each of the various components of TBED (individual sections address dozens of policy interventions distributed among six different TBED policy elements), the state-federal dynamic regarding TBED policy responsibility, and the increasing pressure on U.S. competitiveness resulting from other nations investing more strategically and purposefully toward addressing TBED goals.

Our federal policies and investment come up severely lacking in the end and as Tassey writes for the paper’s abstract, that lack of an institutionalized federal TBED policy “is placing too great a burden on individual state programs.”

As one person familiar with the monograph succinctly stated: “This is the only comprehensive analysis I know of that describes and assesses the full range of TBED policy tools and their organization into regional ecosystems. Both state and other country policy strategies are described and assessed.  It also includes some graphical analyses of impacts on state GDP of TBED investments.”  I whole-heartedly concur and suggest it be required reading for policymakers, analysists and legislators across the country.

Expect articles in upcoming Digest issues exploring and responding to different aspects of this important contribution to national and state TBED policy.

To access the work, please see,

Citation: Gregory Tassey (2019), "Regional Technology-Based Economic Development: Policies and Impacts in the U.S. and Other Economies", Annals of Science and Technology Policy: Vol. 3: No. 1, pp 1-141.

state tbed, policy