The Entrepreneurial State

Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths

Mariana Mazzucato

The Entrepreneurial State

This book debunks the myth of a dynamic private sector vs. a sluggish public sector by providing a detailed account of the role of the public sector in taking on high-risk entrepreneurial investments, from the Internet to the ‘green revolution’.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857282521
June 2013 | 266 Pages | 216 x 140mm / 8.5 x 5.5 | 10+ figures
PRICE:  £13.99  /  $19.95  Buy from  Buy from

About This Book

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

‘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’

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

‘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’

‘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

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This new bestseller from leading economist Mariana Mazzucato – named by the ‘New Republic’ as one of the 'most important innovation thinkers' today – is stirring up much-needed debates worldwide about the role of the State in innovation. Debunking the myth of a laggard State at odds with a dynamic private sector, Mazzucato reveals in case study after case study that in fact the opposite situation is true, with the private sector only finding the courage to invest after the entrepreneurial State has made the high-risk investments. Case studies include examples of the State’s role in the ‘green revolution’, in biotech and pharmaceuticals, as well as several detailed examples from Silicon Valley. 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 shaped and created markets, paving the way for new technologies and sectors that the private sector only ventures into once the initial risk has been assumed. And yet by not admitting the State’s role we are socializing only the risks, while privatizing the rewards in fewer hands. This, she argues, hurts both future innovation and equity in modern-day capitalism. Named one of the 2013 Books of the Year by the ‘Financial Times’ and recommended by ‘Forbes’ in its 2013 creative leaders list, this book is a must-read for those interested in a refreshing and long-awaited take on the public vs. private sector debate.

Readership: A business audience, academics, students, policymakers and the general reader will find this book essential to understanding the role of the state in modern day capitalism.

Author Information

Mariana Mazzucato is RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex. Named one of the ‘three most important thinkers about innovation’ by the ‘New Republic’, she lectures widely and advises the UK government and the European Commission on innovation-led growth.


Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures; List of Acronyms; Acknowledgements; Foreword by Carlota Perez; Introduction: Do Something Different; Chapter 1: From Crisis Ideology to the Division of Innovative Labour; Chapter 2: Technology, Innovation and Growth; Chapter 3: Risk-Taking State: From ‘De-risking’ to ‘Bring It On!’; Chapter 4: The Us Entrepreneurial State; Chapter 5: The State behind the iPhone; Chapter 6: Pushing vs. Nudging the Green Industrial Revolution; Chapter 7: Wind and Solar Power: Government Success Stories and Technology in Crisis; Chapter 8: Risks and Rewards: From Rotten Apples to Symbiotic Ecosystems; Chapter 9: Socialization of Risk and Privatization of Rewards: Can the Entrepreneurial State Eat Its Cake Too?; Chapter 10: Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index