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The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (Anthem Other Canon Economics) Paperback – 10 Jun 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Anthem Press (10 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857282522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857282521
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

“[H]ands down the most refreshing treatment of the innovation issue to have emerged in a long time.” ―“Science and Public Policy”



‘[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’



‘[P]rovides persuasive evidence that governments deserve more credit than private companies for the development of most important modern technologies.’ ―Edward Hadas, ‘Reuters’



‘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’



‘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’



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



‘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 book review



‘“The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths” […] is a meticulously argued treatise that shows how unwise our conventional wisdom has become.’ ―Christopher Dickey, ‘Newsweek’



‘Makes and 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’



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

Review

‘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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‘The principal entrepreneurial drive that has given us many of today’s most important technologies has come from the state. Most thinking and arguing regarding how to energize our sluggish economies is blind to this fact. Mariana Mazzucato’s book aims 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.’ ―Richard Nelson, George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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‘“The Entrepreneurial State” delivers a well-researched and elegantly (even entertainingly) written knock-out to the belief across most of the political spectrum and the economics profession that (with some qualifications) “the market knows best”. As many governments wonder how to boost the productivity and innovativeness of their industrial sectors, this book provides guidelines – based on successful and unsuccessful cases – on how to do industrial policy well. Above all, it shows why the common presumption that the state  “crowds out” the private sector – as though the private sector is a lion caged by a smothering state – is contradicted by what governments of economies from the United States to Brazil and China  actually do to “crowd in” innovations in the private sector.’ ―Robert Wade, Professor of Political Economy and Development, London School of Economics

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Format: Paperback
This well researched book proves that most important innovations are based on financing from government. Apple's iPods, iPhones and iPads are presented as one of the examples. The author describes in detail how the government has financed all essential technological innovations used. The author recognizes the genius of Steve Jobs by visualizing an attractive product that people would buy, selecting technologies, and putting them together in a compact beautiful package.

At first sight this appears the way it should be. The government finances technological breakthroughs that are picked up by business. The problem she sees is financing by the government. Governments are pressured to reduce costs and furthermore are accused to be highly inefficient in everything they do. She describes how for example the governments the US, Germany and Denmark invest heavily and effectively in research and development. They act as entrepreneurs taking the highest risks.

She shows that businesses, in the medical electronic and other fields have radically reduced their funding of the more longer term research and development on which breakthroughs depend. Business and venture capitalists are short term orientated. When "innovative" companies are hugely profitable they buy back shares and/or raise dividends but do not invest it in the longer-term future. She presents a lot of statistics to prove this point.

She considers that it is very important for the people at large to recognize the essential role government plays as the fundamental force in innovation. This role goes beyond developing new knowledge. The state in many cases also has to finance the development of a new technology to the point where it is applied and achieve critical mass.
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This book is an absolute must! Economic decisions about the best allocation of resources must be based on the truth. To base economic decisions on half-truths and deception is to waste resources and leads to the ineffeciencies that all rational people wish to avoid. The Soviet Empire collapsed because it made economic decisions based on half-truths and deception. Western economies should not follow the Soviet example but should embrace the truth to achieve maximum efficiency and the best allocation of resources. And that is why this book is so important, because it rejects the superficial dogma put forward by neoliberal fundamentalists, that governments can never pick winners, only markets can. This very well researched book should be read by all political decision-makers, especially by neoliberals. It is a sign of robust and honest thinking to dare confront yourself with points of view that challenge your beliefs. Let the neoliberals show us that they are robust and honest thinkers by reading his book and then telling us where this book is wrong, if that is still what they truly believe after reading it.
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Mazzucato makes a good argument for the role of the State in funding, stimulating and supporting research, and the benefits that can bring to growth and innovation in an economy. She also carefully differentiates between productive investment and wasted forms of government incentives, but the arguments can seem a bit laborious as she re-uses the same phrases and makes the same points again and again. At times it feels like she is padding out the book and encourages the reader to skips pages, but for all that it does make some very interesting arguments and has made me look at the role of the state in the economy differently.
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This book shows in detail how most of the West's economic success since World War Two has been based on massive state investment in new technologies. Private enterprise mostly takes up things that state spending has pioneered.

Carefully referenced and with many detailed examples.
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Having written a masterly review of State funded innovation benefiting the private sector the Apple case study is fascinating.Integrating key technologies (GPS,Touch Screen Functionality and Voice Activation ) into their tablet and Iphone offerings Apple have been able to turn themselves into the world's largest corporation.But where is the return to the State and ultimately the taxpayer.The only people to directly benefit are the VCs and Apple shareholders.
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A well-written and timely rebuttal of the contribution of the private sector to entrepreneaurialism. Several examples demonstrate how modern innovation is founded mostly on government-funded basic research. Even the great Apple is built on a strong foundation of public research.The private sector, when it finds a good idea, launches it well through good industrial design and marketing.
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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Dec. 2013
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Reading The Economist is one of life's pleasures. Well-written, knowledgeable, and with a certain dash of the unconventional to spice it up, as in the paper's views on the so-called War on Drugs. But there's no denying that some of their pronouncements have an ex cathedra feel about them, as if the editorial team has been imbued with a certain infallibility.

So it is with their framing of the role of the state in business, that is, that its role is to keep out, to not "pick winners".

But as Mariana Mazzucato shows in The Entrepreneurial State, it has been, and should ever be, the role of the state to kick start the kind of research that private business is unwilling to finance. Without the state there would be no Internet, no GPS, no touch-screen technology to power Apple's iPod, iPad or iPhone. The irony, as she points out, is that Apple, beneficiary of a whole raft of state-sponsored technologies which she meticulously lists, is often used as the poster child of market fundamentalists. Mazzucato does not deny the role the firm has played in putting all of the technologies together in an aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing package, and praises Steve Jobs for his role in that respect. She also praises Jobs for his long-termist view, remembering that he always avoided the fashionable but short-termist stock-repurchase and profit-disbursement schemes advocated by exemplary citizens such as Carl Icahn. But the fact is that Apple is a prime example of where socialised risk has been parlayed into privatised return, albeit probably less egregious than banks in that respect.
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