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This book, which builds on the author’s work for a high-impact DEMOS report, debunks the myth of the state as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector. Analysing various case studies of innovation-led growth, in particular examples from Silicon Valley – from the Internet to the technologies behind the iPhone – it describes the opposite situation, whereby the private sector only finds the courage to invest after the entrepreneurial state has made the high-risk investments. It argues that in the history of modern capitalism – and today in what might soon become the ‘green’ revolution – the state has not only fixed market failures but also shaped and created markets, actively investing in new technologies and sectors that private investors only later find the courage to move into.


The Entrepreneurial State
Average rating
3 / 5
good read
January 18th, 2015
Interesting analysis on how the state can contribute to long term economic growth especially through investment in research. I found it in line with some of the seminal contributions of Ken Arrow, Dick Nelson, and Keith Pavitt, among the others. However, I would have expected a deeper exploration of the conditions and the rules that can increase productivity and positive externalities of public investment. Moreover, as shown by the cases of Silicon Valley and Cambridge Ma., the US public research system has properties that other national systems of innovation were not able to replicate. So, I would have expected more emphasis on the interplay between competitive, mission oriented, public investment and vibrant market driven innovation dynamics. A good reading in any case. Mahee Ferlini
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