An Economic Goods Analysis of U.S. Policy for Space Situational Awareness

Friday, June 8, 2018


SWF sponsored Nate Frierson, a graduate student with the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park, to conduct an an economic goods analysis of space situational awareness (SSA) products and services. Mr. Frierson's newly-published analysis divided SSA into several component pieces, classified each piece as a type of economic good, and examined the incentives for providing, paying, and using each good. He found that while SSA as a whole is a public good, different components and services are actually a mix of public and private goods with varying degrees of exclusivity and rivalry. As a result, U.S. policy towards SSA should use different strategies to address each type of good represented within SSA. Those strategies include investing in basic research and technologies, developing a strategy for efficient oversight of private sector SSA, and planning for a future where the bulk of SSA capabilities are provided by the private sector. 

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Last updated on June 8, 2018