Public Affairs
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The Entrepreneurial State
Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths


In this sharp and controversial exposé, Mariana Mazzucato debunks the pervasive myth that the state is a laggard, bureaucratic apparatus at odds with a dynamic private sector. She reveals in detailed case studies, including a riveting chapter on the iPhone, that the opposite is true: the state is, and has been, our boldest and most valuable innovator. Denying this history is leading us down the wrong path. A select few get credit for what is an intensely collective effort, and the US government has started disinvesting from innovation. The repercussions could stunt economic growth and increase inequality. Mazzucato teaches us how to reverse this trend before it is too late.

about Mariana Mazzucato

  • Professor Mariana Mazzucato?(PhD)?holds the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at?SPRU?in the University of Sussex.?Her book?The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths?(Public Affairs, 2015) was?on the?2013 Books of the Year?list of the?Financial Times. Professor Mazzucato is winner of the 2014?New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matth?fer-Preis and in 2013 the New Republic called her one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation'. ?She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth and is currently a member of the Scottish Governmentfs Council of Economic Advisors; the World Economic Forumfs Council on the Economics of Innovation; the UK Labour Partyfs Economic Advisory Committee and SITRAfs (Finnish Innovation Fund) Advisory Panel.? She is currently working on two major research projects funded by the European Commissionfs Horizon 2020 programme and on research commissioned by organisations including NASA, the European Space Agency and the Brazilian Ministry for Science and Technology. Her 2013 TED talk, with more than 700,000 views, can be seen here.


“[Mazzucato] argues persuasively that a successful, innovative society must draw on symbiotic partnerships between governmental and private entities.” —Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs

"Conventional economics offers abstract models; conventional wisdom insists that the answer lies with private entrepreneurship. In this brilliant book, Mariana Mazzucato…argues that the former is useless and the latter incomplete." —Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"Mazzucato argues that long-term, patient government funding is an absolute prerequisite for breakthrough innovation….Even if you disagree with Mazzucato’s argument, you should read her book. It will challenge your thinking." —Bruce Upbin, Forbes

"It is one of the most incisive economic books in years." —Jeffery Madrick, New York Review of Books

"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." The Economist

"[A] meticulously argued treatise that shows how unwise our conventional wisdom has become." —Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

"[P]rovides 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

"[P]rovides a refreshing new take on rather stale debates on the economic role of government." Globe and Mail (UK)

"[A] well-researched and elegantly (even entertainingly) written knock-out to the belief [that] 'the market knows best.'" —Professor Robert Wade, London School of Economics

"[A]ims to get us to understand better the sources of entrepreneurship, and to reflect more positively on the role aggressive technology policies can play in getting our economies moving again." —Professor Richard Nelson, Columbia University

"[This book] has helped to persuade me to shift our approach in the UK." —David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science

"This is a book whose time has come. Mariana Mazzucato documents how the state played a crucial role behind some of the landmark innovations of our time. For many, the ‘entrepreneurial state’ is a contradiction in terms. For Mazzucato, it is both a reality and a requirement for future prosperity.” —Dani Rodrik, Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

other editions

  • Paperback | ISBN 9781610396134
    Pub date: 2015-10-27 | Price: $16.99/21.50 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    5.400 x 8.300 | 288 Pages
    Business & Economics / Government & Business
    Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
    Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy