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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

Entreprenörsstaten?
BokPublikation
Wennberg, K., Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Ratio: Stockholm.

Sammanfattning

Västvärlden har upplevt ihållande arbetslöshet och avsaknad av varaktig ekonomisk återhämtning. Vi har sett hur skydd av nationella intressen vuxit fram, liksom välgrundad oro för ekonomisk ojämlikhet och globala miljöproblem.

I denna jordmån har den interventionistiska industripolitiken upplevt en renässans. Mariana Mazzucatos bok The Entrepreneurial State (2011) utgjorde tillsammans med finanskrisen startskottet för alltmer proaktiva ingrepp i ekonomin. Hennes argumentation var spännande och enkel: Staten har varit den främsta aktören bakom innovation och ekonomisk tillväxt: entreprenörer och stora företag har egentligen bara kapitaliserat på dessa satsningar.

I den här skriften granskas dessa idéer. Vårt innehåll är i flera bemärkelser en varning. Storslagna planer för att skapa önskvärda utfall har sällan ett historiskt smickrande facit. Politiken varken kan eller bör försöka satsa på specifika bolag eller teknologier. Resultatet förvränger incitamentsstrukturerna och resulterar i skadlig opportunism.

The Entrepreneurial Story and its Implications for Research
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Brattström, A., & Wennberg, K.
Publiceringsår

2022

Publicerat i

Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 46(6), 1443-1468.

Sammanfattning

Research is not merely report-writing; it also involves elements of storytelling. In this essay, we reflect on two narrative archetypes in entrepreneurship research: the stories of entrepreneurship as a road to salvation and means to emancipation. We outline a framework to analyze research from a storytelling perspective, apply this framework to identify implicit assumptions and methodological biases in mainstream research, and discuss how a storytelling framework can be used to generate alternative stories. We argue for a more empirically grounded research agenda that continues the development of entrepreneurship research into a rich and diverse field.

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