The Economics and Science of Measurement : A Study of Metrology book cover
1st Edition

The Economics and Science of Measurement
A Study of Metrology

ISBN 9781032014401
Published July 9, 2021 by Routledge
92 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Metrology is the study of measurement science. Although classical economists have emphasized the importance of measurement per se, the majority of economics-based writings on the topic have taken the form of government reports related to the activities of specific national metrology laboratories. This book is the first systematic study of measurement activity at a national metrology laboratory, and the laboratory studied is the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The primary objective of the book is to emphasize for academic and policy audiences the economic importance of measurement not only as an area of study but also as a tool for sustaining technological advancement as an element of economic growth. Toward this goal, the book offers an overview of the economic benefits and consequences of measurement standards; an argument for public sector support of measurement standards; a historical perspective of the measurement activities at NIST; an empirical analysis of one particular measurement activity at NIST, namely calibration testing; and a roadmap for future research on the economics of metrology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Economic Benefits and Consequences of Measurement Standards 3. Public Support of Measurement Standards 4. Measurement Standards Activities at the National Institute of Standards and Technology 5. Calibration Testing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology 6. Summary Remarks and a Roadmap for Possible Future Research

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Albert N. Link is the Virginia Batte Phillips Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, United States.


"Professor Link develops an economic characterization and quantitative analysis of the critical role of measurement infrastructure. As measurement has become ubiquitous in high-tech industries, his assessment is a needed contribution to the rapidly evolving technology focus of modern growth policy." — Gregory Tassey, Economic Policy Research Center, University of Washington and former Chief Economist at NIST