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As Table A-1 indicates, the trend in research funding has not been uniform across agencies.

Much of the decline has been in defense research, because of the end of the Cold War and changed national security requirements. The Department of Defense's (DOD) support of research was down substantially in both relative and absolute terms between 1993 and 1997. Other agencies that spent less in real terms in 1997 than in 1993 included the Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI). But what would have been a $2 billion decline was largely offset by increases in other agencies, especially the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NSF, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), so that the net decrease was just $173.6 million in 1998 dollars.

Federal support of basic research did not decrease between 1993 and 1997. Although the aggregate level of basic research funding dipped for several years after 1993, it was up again slightly—by 1.5 percent—in 1997 over 1993 in real terms. This occurred in part because of real growth in research spending by agencies that favor basic research, NIH and NSF, which offset decreases at DOD, DOE, and other agencies with shrinking research budgets. In 1993, 66 percent of NIH's research budget and 93 percent of NSF's were classified as basic research;

TABLE A-1 Trends in Federal Research Funding Obligations, FY 1993-1997 (millions of 1998 dollars)

 

 

 

Change, 1993-1997          

 

FY 1993

FY 1997

Amount

Percent

DOD

5,353.7

3,882.0

-1,471.6

-27.5

NASA

3,971.7

4,264.2

292.5

7.4

DOE

3,850.3

3,635.3

-214.9

-5.6

DHHSa

10,288.3

11,440.9

1,152.5

11.2

NIH

9,668.2

10,719.0

1,050.9

10.9

NSF

2,106.2

2,291.1

184.9

8.8

USDA

1,400.9

1,314.6

-86.3

-6.2

DOI

649.2

563.1

-86.1

-13.3

EPAb

404.6

416.9

12.3

3.0

DOCc

651.5

823.4

171.9

26.4

Others

1,419.4

1,290.7

-128.7

-9.1

Total research

30,095.7

29,922.1

-173.6

-0.6

aDepartment of Health and Human Services.

bEnvironmental Protection Agency.

cDepartment of Commerce.

Note: Constant-dollar conversions were made using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflators in OMB (1998, Table 10.1).

Source: National Science Foundation (1998b).



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