It's the economy, stupid #4: Mariana Mazzucato

'The Entrepreneurial state' - government investments instead of austerity plans


TUE 06.03.12 | 19:30

Beursschouwburg | A. Ortsstraat 20-28, 1000 Brussels


“Austerity plans are based on the wrong diagnosis of the wrong problem -- and may plunge Europe into depression. Governments must be able to spend strategically to encourage growth, or the crisis will only get worse.” – Mariana Mazzucato.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato argues that the role of the state in economic growth and innovation is systematically underestimated,  a point of view she expands on in publications such as the recently published pamphlet The Entrepreneurial State. This position is also well represented in the report of the EU-funded research program FINNOV, led by Professor Mazzucato and presented earlier this month. The report, Financing Innovation and Growth: Reforming a Dysfunctional System  argues for a radical reform of the financial system in which the role of the state as an investor is more clearly defined and recognized. On March 6th Professor Mazzucato is our highly valued guest speaker for the fourth edition of our series ‘It’s the Economy, Stupid!’. All visitors receive a free copy of The Entrepreneurial State.

With the series ‘It’s the Economy, stupid!’ deBuren aims to confront its audience with unusual and thought provoking arguments by renowned economists on current affairs. Past speakers reflected on issues such as the relation between economic growth and immigration, the economic viability of durable energy, and creative destruction as the upside of the current economic crisis. Professor Mazzucato will defend her statement that governments that cut spending are on the wrong track, as argued in The Entrepreneurial State.

The Entrepreneurial State
The prevailing opinion on public spending is that the state must be cut back to make room for entrepreneurship and innovation, to prevent the public sector ‘crowding out’ the private sector. This draws on the belief that the private sector is dynamic, innovative and competitive, in contrast to the sluggish and bureaucratic public sector. The Entrepreneurial State challenges this minimalist view of economic policy. It finds that successful economies result from government doing more than just creating the right conditions for growth. Instead, governments should play a key role in developing new technologies whose potential is not yet understood by the business community. State-funded organizations can be nimble and innovative, transforming economies forever — the algorithm behind Google was funded by a public sector National Science Foundation grant.  Mariana Mazzucato argues for a proactive, entrepreneurial state: a state that is able to take risks and harness the best of the private sector. After her talk she will be interviewed by Piet Depuydt, financial editor of newspaper De Tijd.


About Mariana Mazzucato
Mariana Mazzucato is currently R.M. Phillips Professor in Science and Technology Policy (SPRU department) at the University of Sussex (UK), visiting Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the Open University (UK), Economics Director of the ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research of Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN) and Scientific Coordinator of a 3 year European Commission funded project on Finance, Innovation and Growth (FINNOV, 2009-2012). 

Organization: deBuren in collaboration with the Beursschouwburg


Video of Mariana Mazzucato's talk in our series Its the economy, stupid!' (abridged version)

It's the Economy, Stupid #4: Mariana Mazzucato from deBuren on Vimeo.