Mariana Mazzucato: Government — investor, risk-taker, innovator

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‘Conventional economics offers abstract models; conventional wisdom insists that the answer lies with private entrepreneurship. In this brilliant book, Mariana Mazzucato, a Sussex University professor of economics who specialises in science and technology, argues that the former is useless and the latter incomplete. Yes, innovation depends on bold entrepreneurship. But the entity that takes the boldest risks and achieves the biggest breakthroughs is not the private sector; it is the much-maligned state. […] 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.’

—Financial Times

‘Ms Mazzucato is right to argue that the state has played a central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs, and that its contribution to the success of technology-based businesses should not be underestimated. She is also right to point out that the “profligate” countries that are suffering the most from the current crisis (such as Greece and Italy) are those that have spent the least on R&D and education. There are many reasons why policymakers must modernise the state and bring entitlements under control. But one of the most important is that a well-run state is a vital part of a successful innovation system.’

—The Economist

“Mazzucato warns that the perception of government impotence in innovation can be self-fulfilling. Uncertainty in policy is a recipe for failure. Government is most effective when it acts with confidence, as evidenced in places such as China and Brazil, which have successfully developed technologies for the anticipated ‘green revolution’ with the help of state aid.”


“Broad circulation of Mazzucato’s book will help enormously to debunk the dangerous dogmas that continue to exercise undue influence both in the U.S. and abroad.”

—Yahoo! Finance

“‘The Entrepreneurial State’ […] is a meticulously argued treatise that shows how unwise our conventional wisdom has become.”


“[Mazzucato] offers a forensic analysis of how the state is prime investor and creator of most great innovations”


“The state, [Mazzucato] argued, is a ‘market maker,’ whose ability to take bold, risky bets is critical for economies to grow at the global cutting edge.”

—New York Times

“Her recently published book, The Entrepreneurial State, has been favourably reviewed in the Economist and the Financial Times, widely debated in Britain, and certainly deserves the attention of Canadians as we consider how best to build a modern, innovative, environmentally sustainable economy.”

—The Globe and Mail

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“Mariana Mazzucato: Government — investor, risk-taker, innovator”