Presentation on Innovation Policy

Posted by
Doug Elmendorf
April 23, 2013

I spoke this afternoon at a conference on "Innovation Policy and the Economy organized by the National Bureau of Economic Research. My presentation (show below) explored a wide array of possible changes in federal policy that might bolster innovation, including more spending on research and development, increased support for education, lower taxes on private investment, greater immigration of skilled workers, patent reform, and adjustments to regulatory policies. CBO’s role is to present to the Congress the advantages and disadvantages of different policies, so, as always, I made no recommendations. Instead, I concluded that, in the context of the current tight budget constraints, those approaches to enhancing innovation would require a redirection of federal money from other purposes or compromises on other national goals, which would require that spurring innovation be viewed by lawmakers as an important national priority.