innovation

The private sector is spending more on R&D than ever

Growth in R&D spending is down from its 1980s/90s level. But R&D as a share of the economy is growing. What gives?

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Aug 8, 2013

Why we don’t have jetpacks, in one chart

R&D investment grew in all but one quarter between 1980 and 2001. That stopped, and we don't really know why.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Jul 31, 2013

These 12 technologies will drive our economic future

A McKinsey Global Institute study shows how innovations that get the most hype aren’t necessarily the ones that will make the biggest difference economically.

  • Neil Irwin
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  • May 24, 2013

Apple had record sales and awesome growth. Here’s why its stock is being hammered anyway.

Here's Apple's real problem: World-changing innovations don't come along every day.

  • Neil Irwin
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  • Apr 24, 2013

Is Sweden awesome because it mooches off the U.S.?

MIT's Daron Acemoglu argues that if the U.S. adopted the Swedish model, everyone would suffer. It's not clear that's the case.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Sep 28, 2012

No, Social Security and Medicare aren’t crowding out R&D and education

A new paper alleges that growing spending in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is crowding out spending on investments like education, research and development, and infrastructure. There are two reasons why this is misleading.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Aug 3, 2012

Are we innovating outside of software and finance?

Software has innovated at roughly the same pace as manufacturing, trade, and agriculture. Agree or disagree with Peter Thiel's politics, he's trying to explain something that isn't happening.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Jul 24, 2012

The $70 million reason that companies don’t want to share their patents

Companies that make scientific discoveries often jealously guard their patents, reluctant to share the fruits of their R&D investments with others. A Duke University researcher, discovers that this may be for good reason—at least for a company's bottom line.

  • Suzy Khimm
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  • Jul 3, 2012