investment.” She explained that national accounts do not have to line up with firms’ accounting practices.
The session moderator, Bronwyn Hall, said that publicly held firms use Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) policy for expensing R and D. An advantage is that expensing R and D offsets current income. The problem from an economic analysis perspective, Hall said, is that “in the United States, the value of firms even when the market is down is substantially higher than the value of their tangible capital assets.” When one looks for what explains the difference, “capitalized R and D is the first thing” one sees.
In response to a question about how research funders can generate more positive spillover effects from research, Weinberg pointed out that research funding is more likely to have positive effects in nearby location than distant locations. Improvements in dissemination could enhance information flows, and there are many ways to study the impacts of this dissemination.