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Working Paper no. 331: Bureaucrats or Markets in Innovation Policy? – A critique of the entrepreneurial state

PublikationWorking paper
Christian Sandström, Financing of Innovations, Innovation, Innovationspolitik, Karl Wennberg, Nils Karlson
Wokring Paper no 331 Bureaucracies or Markets in Innovation
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Sammanfattning

This paper takes stock of recent suggestions that the state apparatus is a central and underappreciated actor in the generation, diffusion and exploitation of innovations enhancing growth and social welfare. We contrast such a view of “the entrepreneurial state” with theories and empirical evidence of the microeconomic processes of innovation in the modern economy which focus on well-functioning markets, free entry and competition among firms, and independent entrepreneurship as central mechanisms in the creation and dissemination of innovations. In doing so, we identify several deficiencies in the notion of an entrepreneurial state by showing that (i) there is weak empirical support in the many hundreds empirical studies and related meta analyses evaluating the effectiveness of active industrial and innovative policies, that (ii) these policies do not take account of the presence of information and incentive problems which together explain why attempts to address purported market failures often result in policy failures, and that (iii) the exclusive focus on knowledge creation through R&D and different forms of firm subsidies ignores the equally important mechanisms of knowledge dissemination and creation through commercial exploitation in markets. We discuss how a more theoretically well-founded focus on the state as investing in knowledge generation and securing the conditions of free and competitive markets will lead to a more innovative economy.

Karlson, N., Sandström, C. & Wennberg, K. (2020). Bureaucrats or Markets in Innovation Policy? – A critique of the entrepreneurial state. Working Paper no. 331. Stockholm: Ratio.


Liknande innehåll

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
BokkapitelPublikation
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.

Sammanfattning

There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State
BokPublikation
Wennberg, K. & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i
Sammanfattning

Western economies are struggling to recover from a decade of Plagued by structural crises, an ongoing pandemic, high unemployment and sluggish growth. As progressively looser monetary and fiscal policies have not helped, both the EU and national governments have increasingly turned towards interventionist industrial policies. Mariana Mazzucato’s The Entrepreneurial State (2011) provided an intellectual justification for these efforts, and consequently gained popularity. The message was clear: in order to get more innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development and growth we need more government, not less. In this book, 30 international scholars address the core ideas underpinning the entrepreneurial state. We provide evidence of both historical and recent failures of “green deals” and similar efforts, while also developing novel directions for innovation policy. In many regards, this book is a warning: huge government schemes towards specific, noble outcomes have historically been plagued with failures. In sum, we argue that innovation policy needs to be inverted: instead of being specific and targeted, it needs to be broad and general, focusing on the general conditions for firms to operate. Instead of providing targeted support to certain firms, industries or even technologies, innovation policy needs to constructively deal with barriers to innovation, including the proactive handling of vested interest groups.

The book is open access and can be downloaded here.

Rätt att välja. Framtidens vård och omsorg
BokPublikation
Karlson, N. & Lundbäck, M.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Dialogos förlag

Sammanfattning

Svensk vård och omsorg har väl kända problem med tillgängligheten, väntetiderna, servicenivån och vårdkedjorna. En åldrande befolkning, dyra behandlingar och en förväntad ökad efterfrågan på vård och omsorg förstärker utmaningarna. Därför behövs en breddad diskussion om hur framtidens sjukvård ska finansieras och organiseras.

I boken jämförs vård och omsorgssystemen i Sverige, Nederländerna, Australien och Schweiz, med hjälp av internationella index och fallstudier. En slutsats är att valfrihet och olika typer av försäkringslösningar i regel leder till större tillgänglighet och förbättrar förmågan till institutionellt lärande.

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