Award-winning economist Mariana Mazzucato’s famously incisive international bestseller debunking the pervasive myth of the inept state versus an innovative private sector—with a new preface by the author
According to conventional wisdom, innovation is best left to the bold entrepreneurs of the private sector, and government should get out of the way. But what if that wasn't case? What if, from the inventions of Silicon Valley to medical breakthroughs, the public sector has actually been the most courageous and valuable risk-taker of all?
Critically acclaimed and influential thinker and scholar Mariana Mazzucato argues comprehensively against the myth of a lumbering, bureaucratic state versus a dynamic, innovative private sector with remarkable original and deep research. In a series of case studies—from nanotechnology to the emerging green tech of today—Mazzucato reveals that the opposite is true: the private sector only finds the courage to invest after an entrepreneurial state has made the high-risk investments. The Entrepreneurial State reveals how every technology that makes the iPhone so “smart” was actually funded by the government—from the Internet and GPS technology, to touch-screen displays and voice-activated Siri.
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 active risk taking, we've created an "innovation system" where the public sector socializes risks while privatizing reward, as Mazzucato controversially argues. This bold and provocative book considers how we adopted this dysfunctional dynamic, and then how we can overcome it so that economic growth can be not only "smart" but "inclusive" as well.
About the Author
Mariana Mazzucato, PhD, is professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, where she directs the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Her bestselling books include The Big Con, The Value of Everything, and Mission Economy. Her many prizes include the 2020 John von Neumann Award and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She is chair of the World Health Organization’s Council on the Economics of Health for All and a member of the United Nation’s High Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs.
“Superb . . . At a time when government action of any kind is ideologically suspect, and entrepreneurship is unquestioningly lionized, the book's importance cannot be understated.” —The Guardian
“A brilliant book.” —Martin Wolf, Financial Times
“One of the most incisive economic books in years.” —Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books
“Mazzucato is right to argue that the state has played a central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs.” —Economist
“Read her book. It will challenge your thinking.” —Forbes
“Mazzucato's ideas are feul for a growing political debate about what portion of the country's wealth pie should be taken by the private sector.” —TIME
“Professor Mazzucato's proposal is worth considering.” —New York Times
“[Mazzucato] argues persuasively that a successful, innovative society must draw on symbiotic partnerships between governmental and private entities.” ―Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs
“A meticulously argued treatise that shows how unwise our conventional wisdom has become.”
―Christopher Dickey, Newsweek
“Provides persuasive evidence that governments deserve more credit than private companies for the development of most important modern technologies.” ―Edward Hadas, Reuters
“A skillful combination of the history of technology, empirical evidence, and policy analysis--the book contains a critical reading of data and arguments that run counter to established views while never falling short of offering constructive solutions.” ―Davide Consoli, Science
“Makes an engaging, persuasive case in favor of the state, and suggests one recommend it not just as an instrument of market repair but also as a prerequisite for future prosperity.” ―J. Bhattacharya, Choice
“In this trailblazing book on the role of government as both a risk-taking funder of innovation and a market creator, Mariana Mazzucato persuasively argues that the government is a key enabler of technological innovations that drive economic growth. This important book should be read by policymakers, opinion leaders, and others with a stake in funding economic growth.” ―Arnold T. Davis, CFA Institute