Steve Lohr on The Venturesome Economy by Amar Bhidé

New York Times columnist Steve Lohr spoke with author Amar Bhidé about innovation, research, technology, and their impact on the U.S. economy.

The resulting article is available here at the New York Times Web site, but here is a quick excerpt:

In a new book, “The Venturesome Economy” (Princeton University Press), Mr. Bhidé makes a detailed argument that contradicts the prevailing view of expert panels and authors who contend that the nation’s prosperity is threatened by the technological rise of China and India, and that America’s capacity for innovation is eroding. To arrest the decline, they insist that more scientists and engineers, and more government spending on research, are sorely needed.

Mr. Bhidé derides the conventional view in science and technology circles as “techno-nationalism,” needlessly alarmist and based on a widely held misunderstanding of how technological innovation yields economic growth. In his view, many analysts put too much emphasis on the production of new technological ideas. Instead, he observes, the real economic payoff lies in innovations in how technologies are used.