Economics - Innovation - Inclusive Growth - Public Purpose

Category Archives: BLOG

Mission thinking: a problem-solving approach to fuel innovation-led growth

Mission thinking: a problem-solving approach to fuel innovation-led growth

The world is afflicted by problems that people experience in their daily lives: clean air in congested cities, a healthy and independent life in old age, access to digital technologies that improve public services, and treatment of diseases like cancer or obesity that continue to afflict millions of people across the globe.
What is the relationship between these problems and the dynamics of science, research and innovation? Of course we all recognise that science is needed to produce medicines, but what is the role of research and innovation in producing a more ‘caring’ society and solutions to health care systems? more

The Brexit-Trump Syndrome: it’s the economics, stupid

The Brexit-Trump Syndrome: it’s the economics, stupid

The election of Donald Trump, and the Brexit vote in the UK, have both been widely interpreted as a revolt of the economically ‘left behind’: a protest by working class voters at the impact of globalisation on their jobs and living standards. In neither case is this the whole explanation: in both the UK and US, plenty of people on higher incomes and in wealthy areas voted for the insurgent movement. But there can be little doubt that in Michigan and Merthr Tydfil, South Carolina and Sunderland, the disaffection of people on below-average incomes drove the outcome. more

WHY ECONOMIC RECOVERY REQUIRES RETHINKING CAPITALISM

WHY ECONOMIC RECOVERY REQUIRES RETHINKING CAPITALISM

In 2008, Queen Elizabeth II went to the London School of Economics to open a new academic building. The British Monarch has made it a life’s work to avoid saying anything contentious in public, but this time she had a question for the economists: Why had they not seen the financial crash coming?
Her question went to the heart of two huge failures of modern economics: the near collapse of some of the world’s major economies; and the faith in an orthodox economic framework that offered no explanation for what was happening. The thesis of my new book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Inclusive and more

Five Key Points for Italy’s Banking Woes

Five Key Points for Italy’s Banking Woes

There is serious concern about Italy’s banks and whether the bad debt they are carrying signals trouble for the Eurozone. In facing up to its troubled financial system Italy’s political leaders could also benefit from a moment of reflection on what the role of finance could, and should, be in a dynamic and functioning economic system. As finance is central to the capitalist system, the lessons for Italy’s financial system are broader than the role of its banks. I will concentrate on 5 key points.
First, money is not just a medium of exchange, replacing barter and then gold. Money lies at the centre of the economic system which is, as understood especially by the great economist Hyman Minsky more

Creating a more symbiotic medical innovation eco-system

Creating a more symbiotic medical innovation eco-system

In recent days, my name has been mentioned by John McDonnell in relation to policies he and Jeremy Corbyn have been floating relating to the patent box policy and funding of medical innovation in the UK. I should say first off that I was once a member of Labour’s Economic Advisory Committee (EAC) performing a similar role to that which I have for Nicola Sturgeon in her Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) and, in various ways, with other policy makers worldwide. And although Labour’s EAC is not currently operating, I actually never discussed pharmaceutcal more

Talk of ‘globalisation’ will not help us understand the difficult choices ahead

Talk of ‘globalisation’ will not help us understand the difficult choices ahead

What role did a mysterious force called ‘globalisation’ play in the UK’s vote to leave the EU? And what now for globalisation? Those were the questions I was asked to discuss on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday with Editor of the Economist, Zanny Minton Beddoes.

Even amidst the current political turmoil, there are the beginnings of a much needed, more serious, search for answers as to why so many people, not only in the UK, feel that the global economy does not work for them. Even regions of the UK that are the largest beneficiaries of EU structural funds – worth €150 more

STATE VS. MARKETS: A MISLEADING DICHOTOMY

STATE VS. MARKETS: A MISLEADING DICHOTOMY

The debate about the relative roles of the state and the market in capitalist economies tends to swing from side to side in the hearts and minds of public opinion: periods when the state is defended for its role in economic development are always superseded by an attack on its intervention into ‘well functioning’ markets. It has been like this throughout the twentieth century. And it is what has happened since the most recent global financial crisis and economic recession: a brief period right after its outbreak, when there was consensus that the state had a key role to play in both saving the banks and using fiscal policy to promote growth, was quickly apprehended more

What we need to get a real green revolution

What we need to get a real green revolution

All eyes are on the negotiations at COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, in Paris. President Obama’s opening remarks and the recent announcement by Bill Gates and other private investors of a new fund for new green technology could be seen as encouraging signs. But do policy-makers now have the courage to realise that to truly transform economies in a green direction the state must actively tilt the playing field?
We cannot rely on the private sector to bring about the kind of radical reshaping of the economy that is required. As Bill Gates recently acknowledged, only the state can provide the kind of patient finance required to make a decisive shift. In this, the hoped for green revolution must learn the lessons of the IT revolution: it will require not only massive more

The real questions Canada should be asking in the run up to the election

The real questions Canada should be asking in the run up to the election

Post election update. The Liberal Party has won the Canandian election on a platform which promised investment, not more budget cuts. The new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now needs to ask the right questions about how to steer and direct this spending, not only on shovel-ready projects, but with vision. He would do well to listen to Liberal Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, who recently cited my work in her speech to the Waterloo Innovation Summit on 17 September 2015, saying:

“One of Mariana’s central observations is that, in our post-recession world, the state has been cast as the villain — a hapless, cumbersome meddler that has always done a poor job of mimicking the private sector, so should get out of the way — just focus more

The Future of the BBC: the BBC as Market Shaper and Creator

The Future of the BBC: the BBC as Market Shaper and Creator

At the heart of the government’s green paper on the future of the BBC is an implicit accusation that the broadcaster is ‘crowding out’ the market through the scale and quality of its services. The BBC is accused of (potentially) ‘stealing’ audience from private broadcasters, diminishing potential income from advertising (or subscription) and, consequently, private investments. If the BBC is to be blamed for ‘crowding more