Economics - Innovation - Inclusive Growth

the entrepreneurial state

The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem 2013) is stirring up much-needed debate worldwide about the role of the state in fostering long-run innovation led economic growth.

The book comprehensively debunks the myth of a lumbering, bureaucratic state versus a dynamic, innovative private sector. In a series of case studies—from IT, biotech, nanotech to today’s emerging green tech—Professor Mazzucato shows that the opposite is true: the private sector only finds the courage to invest after an entrepreneurial state has made the high-risk investments. In an intensely researched chapter, she reveals that every technology that makes the iPhone so ‘smart’ was government funded: the Internet, GPS, its touch-screen display and the voice-activated Siri.

Mazzucato also controversially argues that in the history of modern capitalism the State has not only fixed market failures, but has also actively shaped and created markets. In doing so, it sometimes wins and sometimes fails. Yet by not admitting the State’s role in such active risk taking, and pretending that the state only cheers on the side-lines while the private sector roars, we have ended up creating an ‘innovation system’ whereby the public sector socializes risks, while rewards are privatized. The book considers how to change this dysfunctional dynamic so that economic growth can be not only ‘smart’ but also ‘inclusive’.

In 2014 Professor Mazzucato was awarded the New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy for her work on smart growth and the entrepreneurial state. The book was shortlisted for the prestigious Wirtschaftsbuchpreis in Germany and featured on the 2013 books of the year lists of the Financial Times and Forbes. It has been translated into Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish and is forthcoming in Greek, Chinese, Polish, Japanese and Korean.

  • The book shows how publicly funded technology makes the iPhone smart

featured media coverage

THE ECONOMIST

THE ECONOMIST

“Ms Mazzucato is right to argue that the state has played a role in producing game-changing breakthroughs, and that its contribution to the success of technology-based businesses should not be underestimated.” Schumpeter column

The New York Times

The New York Times

“In brief then, it is an essential role of the federal government — in the interest of tomorrow’s prosperity — to invest and engage in scientific and technological discovery.” Teresa Tritch

FINANCIAL TIMES

FINANCIAL TIMES

“This book has a controversial thesis. But it is basically right. The failure to recognise the role of the government in driving innovation may well be the greatest threat to rising prosperity.”  Martin Wolf      pdf version

Time

Time

“As the academic Mariana Mazzucato argues in her excellent book The Entrepreneurial State, many of the most lauded corporate innovations… came out of state-funded research.” Rana Foroohar

Newsweek

Newsweek

“The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, by Mariana Mazzucato at Britain’s Sussex University, is a meticulously argued treatise that shows how unwise our conventional wisdom has become.” Christopher Dickey

Forbes

Forbes

“Read her book.  It will challenge your thinking.”  Bruce Upbin

The Guardian

The Guardian

“Professor Mariana Mazzucato… offers a forensic analysis of how the state is prime investor and creator of most great innovations.” Polly Toynbee

featured articles by mazzucato

The Innovative State

The Innovative State

Governments should make markets, not just fix them, Mazzucato writes for Foreign Affairs more

Dear PRIME MINISTER, this is what the state can do

Dear PRIME MINISTER, this is what the state can do

Professor Mazzucato’s open letter to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, published on the front page of La Repubblica, after he was reported to have bought a copy of her book, “Lo Stato Inovatore”. more

Start-up myths and obsessions

Start-up myths and obsessions

As guest writer for the Economist’s Schumpeter blog, Mazzucato tackles the hype around entrepreneurship and startups. more

watch the TED talk

Mazzucato’s TED Global Talk – Government: investor, risk-taker, innovator – has had more than 600,000 views.

related interviews

INSTITUTE FOR NEW ECONOMIC THINKING:
HOW THE STATE DRIVES INNOVATION

CNN MONEY INTERVIEW: THANK THE GOVERNMENT FOR YOUR IPHONE

FINANCIAL TIMES INTERVIEW: DELVING INTO THE ENTREPRENEURIAL STATE

RELATED EVENTS & TALKS

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL STATE NEWS

Scottish Council of Economic Advisers

Scottish Council of Economic Advisers

Professor Mazzucato has been appointed to the Scottish Governmet’s Council of Economic Advisers alongside Joseph Stiglitz, James Mirrlees and others.

US Senate discussion

US Senate discussion

The Entrepreneurial State is discussed during the US Senate Committee on Appropriations.