Mission-oriented innovation policies put government and state agencies at the forefront of the innovation process. PrFiguesently, little is known about the interests of the government agencies in charge of implementing mission-oriented innovation policies. In this chapter, we set out to explore the incentives and behavior of such government agencies. We do so by analyzing 30 annual reports from three different government agencies in charge of implementing innovation policies in Sweden over a ten-year period: Sweden’s Innovation Agency (Vinnova), the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket). First, we track all cases in these annual reports where an evaluation is mentioned. Identifying 654 instances, we subsequently make a sentiment analysis and code whether these statements are positive, neutral or negative. Our findings show that 84 percent of these instances are positive, 12 percent are neutral and four percent are negative. Second, we relate these results to more critical evaluations and show that these agencies often ignore research that generates more critical results. In sum, our results suggest that government agencies in charge of implementing mission-oriented policies benefit from the enlarged role they are given and that they act according to their own self- interest.
Björnemalm, R., Sandström, C., & Åkesson, N. (2023). A public choice perspective on mission-oriented innovation policies and the behavior of government agencies. Ratio Working Paper No. 366. Stockholm.