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Earmarking in the U.S. Department of Transportation Research Programs

  • Design
  • Law


US Department of Transportation research funds historically have been awarded on the basis of competition and merit review. Over the last fifteen years, however, transportation research programs have seen dramatic growth in earmarking, a practice in which Congress designates research funds for specific institutions named in legislation. This paper discusses driving forces for and potential risks associated with this practice and presents data on earmarking trends from five USDOT agencies.

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