Mariana Mazzucato

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Mariana Mazzucato
Mariana Mazzucato 2016 (cropped).jpg
Mazzucato in 2016
Mariana Francesca Mazzucato

(1968-06-16) June 16, 1968 (age 53)
NationalityItalian; American
Spouse(s)Carlo Cresto-Dina
InstitutionUniversity of Sussex (SPRU), University College London
Alma materThe New School (PhD, 1999)
Tufts University (B.A., 1990)
InfluencesJoseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes

Mariana Francesca Mazzucato (born June 16, 1968)[1] is an economist with dual Italian–US citizenship.[2] She is a professor at University College London in Economics of Innovation and Public Value and she is the founder and director of their Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). Her research focuses on the relationships between technological, economic and social changes.[3] She is Chair of the World Health Organization's Council on the Economics of Health for All,[4] a member of the Scottish Government's Council of Economic Advisers, South Africa's Economic Advisory Council and the United Nation's High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs.[5][6]

Mazzucato is the author of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy and Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism.[7] In 2016, Mazzucato co-edited a book, Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth with Michael Jacobs. The New Republic called her one of "the three most important thinkers about innovation" in 2013.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Mazzucato was born in Rome, Italy to parents Ernesto Mazzucato, a physicist, and Alessandra Mazzucato,[9] who are both Italian. In 1972, the family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, with their three young children, Valentina, Mariana and Jacopo, after Ernesto accepted a position at Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory. Mazzucato spent most of her early life in the US before returning to Europe.[10]

In 1986, Mazzucato graduated from Princeton High School. In 1990, Mazzucato received a B.A. in history and international relations from Tufts University. In 1994, Mazzucato received a M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research where she focused on heterodox economics.[11] In 1999, Mazzucato earned a Ph.D. in economics from the New School's Graduate Facility of Political and Social Science.[12][13] Her dissertation was called Four Essays on Evolutionary Market Share Dynamics: A Computational Approach. Her thesis advisors were Willi Semmler, Lance Taylor, Duncan K. Foley, and Charles Tilly.[14]



From 1995 to 1997, Mazzucato was an adjunct professor of economics at New York University. She taught at the University of Denver between 1997 and 1999.[15] Between 1998 and 1999 she was a post-doctoral Marie Curie Research Fellow at the London Business School where she worked and published papers with Paul Geroski (former Dean of the London Business School).[16][17][18]

She joined the The Open University in 1999 as a lecturer, where she became a full professor in 2005. She founded their Innovation, Knowledge and Development research centre.[15][19] From 2008 to 2010 she was a visiting professor at Bocconi University.[15] In 2014, she was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Technology Sydney.[20] Between 2011 and 2017, she was the RM Phillips Chair in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex.[21] In 2017, Mazzucato became a professor at University College London in Economics of Innovation and Public Value and she founded their Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).[15]

Economic advisory[edit]

In the early 2010s, Mazzucato joined the task force at New Economic Foundation, and European Commission (EC) Task Force on Public Sector Innovation. She was a member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Economics of Innovation.[22] She was also a member of the European Commission’s expert group on Innovation for Growth (RISE).[23] Between 2015 and 2016, she was appointed to the British Labour Party's Economic Advisory Committee, convened by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and reporting to Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.[24]

Mazzucato in 2010

Mazzucato has worked as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for Scottish Government[25] and as a scientific advisor at the Italian Parliamentary Budget Office and their commissioner for Economic Justice. In 2017, she became a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Leadership Council.[26] In 2018, she started working as a special advisor for the EC Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, in which role she authored the report Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union.[27][28] She is a special advisor to the Secretary General of the OECD, Angel Gurría, for the OECD's New Growth Narrative.[29] Mazzucato joined the UN Committee for Development Policy in 2019.[30]

Other activities[edit]

In 2015 Mazzucato was commissioned to write a report[31] for the Brazilian Government's Ministry for Science, Technology & Innovation on Brazil's innovation policy which was published on April 6, 2016.[32] Mazzucato became the first woman to give the Raúl Prebisch Lecture organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile, in April 2016.[33]



Mazzucato's research focuses on the relationship between financial markets, innovation and economic growth – at the company, industry and national level.[34] She works within the Schumpeterian framework of evolutionary economics, studying the origin and evolution of persistent differences between firms and how these differences vary across sectors and over the industry life-cycle.[16][18][35]

Her empirical studies have focused on the automobile, PC, biotech and pharma industries. She has analysed the co-evolution of technological change and stock market bubbles. In this, she argues that stock price volatility tends to be highest, at the firm and industry level, when technological innovation is the most "radical".[36][37][38]

In 2013 Mazzucato published The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths.[39] The book argues that the idea of the state as a static bureaucratic organisation only needed to ‘fix’ market failures, leaving dynamic entrepreneurship and innovation to the private sector, is wrong. She outlines a number of case studies across different sectors, including biotech, pharmaceuticals and clean technology, to show that the high-risk investments are being made by the state before the private sector gets involved. In a chapter examining the iPhone, she outlines how the technologies that make it ‘smart’ – the internet, GPS, its touchscreen display and the voice-activated Siri – were all government-funded.[40][41]

Two chapters in the book are dedicated to the emerging ‘green technology’ revolution. She details the public funds that she argues are laying the groundwork for this revolution in a similar way that the state invested in the most high-risk areas of biotech and nanotech.[42] The book concludes with the contention that in all these examples, the risks were socialized while the rewards were privatized, and considers different ways to change this dynamic to produce more ‘inclusive growth’.[43]

Value creation and destruction[edit]

She focused on inequality in her work with William Lazonick. Their 2013 joint article, "The Risk-Reward Nexus: Who takes the risks? Who gets the rewards?" describes the tension between how value is created and how value is extracted in modern-day capitalism. The authors argue that there is a disproportionate balance between the 'collective' distribution of risk taking in the innovation process, and the increasingly narrow distribution of the rewards.[44]

In a paper for the think tank Policy Network called "Rebalancing What?", Mazzucato argues that the problem is not only one of short-termism, it is also about the way in which financial activities focused on value extraction have been rewarded above activities focused on value creation – often leading to value destruction.[45] Her book The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy, published in 2018, describes how financial companies act as rent-seekers rather than creating value themselves, and that current legislation encourages that type of behaviour.[46]

Market shaping[edit]

Since 2014, Mazzucato has developed her critique of "market failure theory" and her concept of the state's role in the economy as one of "creating and shaping new markets"[47][48] rather than just fixing them.[49] Her work with Carlota Perez has considered how such a view can enable a new understanding of ‘green’ as a redirection of the entire economy.[50] Her work with Caetano Penna has focussed on the way in which a mission oriented market shaping framework can provide a new understanding of the role of state investment banks.[51][52]


Jayati Ghosh, writing for Nature, wrote that Mission Economy is a "timely and optimistic vision" of solving major problems through directed private and public investment. She argued that Mazzucato's arguments seem simple and obvious, but are in fact revolutionary, implying a new role for governments.[49]

John Kay wrote in the Financial Times that Mission Economy's proposals would lead to powerful governments driving and co-ordinated every stage of innovation to solve issues from cancer to climate change. Kay argues that such projects tend to be failures, because political direction of innovation would have led to absence of objective feedback, whereas efficient progress tends to require very competitive markets with incremental innovation and power decentralized to individual entrepreneurs with their independent visions.[53]

Pope Francis said, when talking about The Value of Everything, "I believe [her vision] can help to think about the future."[2] US Senator Marco Rubio credited Mazzucato's work on value in one of his economic proposals.[13]

Martin Wolf wrote in the Financial Times that The Entrepreneurial State offers "a controversial thesis," but "it is basically right," and warns that the "failure to recognise the role of the government in driving innovation may well be the greatest threat to rising prosperity."[54] Robert Atkinson stated that "it is one thing to legitimize the state as a driver of innovation and give credit where credit is due – something [Mazzucato's] book does masterfully", but "it is another thing altogether to craft effective innovation policy that deals with risk in a politically acceptable way."[41]

In a column for The Economist, it was argued that she is "too hard on business" but that Mazzucato was right about the state's "central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs", and that its "contribution to the success of technology-based businesses should not be underestimated."[55] Tim Worstall, research fellow at the neoliberal think thank Adam Smith Institute, argues that Mazzucato offers a confused definition of public goods, which is a "crucial point," since "the non-rivalrous and non-excludable nature [of public goods] make them difficult to profit from," and thus the private sector would not be interested in them.[56]

Personal life[edit]

Mazzucato is married to Carlo Cresto-Dina, an Italian film producer, and they have four children.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2013, Mazzucato's book Entrepreneurial State was listed in Financial Times Selection of Books of the Year.[57] The book also won her the New Statesman/SPERI Prize in Political Economy in the next year.[58] In the same year, a German translation of The Entrepreneurial State (Das Kapital des Staates) was shortlisted for the "German Business Book Prize" (“Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis”).[59] She was awarded the 2016 Hans-Matthöfer book prize by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany.[60][61]

She was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa by National University of San Martín.[citation needed] She was also awarded a honorary doctorate by Hasselt University in 2017.[62] The Simon Fraser University awarded her an honorary degree in 2020.[63]

In 2018, her research focused on how governments foster innovation won her the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.[64]

In 2019, she was awarded the All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, honoring her contributions for analyzing the governments' roles in fostering innovation.[65][66] A year later, she received the John von Neumann Award.[67]

Her 2018 book The Value of Everything was shortlisted for that year's Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year prize.[68]

In 2020, she was awarded the John von Neumann award, which is given annually by Rajk College to a social sciences scholar whose works have had substantial influence over a long period of time on the studies and intellectual activity of the students of the college.[69]

In 2021, she received the Grande Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, the highest civilian honor of the Italian government.[70]

Selected works and publications[edit]


  • Mazzucato, Mariana (2000). Firm Size, Innovation and Market Structure: The Evolution of Industry Concentration and Instability. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. ISBN 978-1-840-64346-6. OCLC 462760707.
  • Mazzucato, Mariana (2002). Strategy for Business: A Reader. London: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-0-761-97413-0. OCLC 47900796.
  • Mazzucato, Mariana; Dosi, Giovanni, eds. (2006). Knowledge Accumulation and Industry Evolution: The Case of Pharma-Biotech. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511493232. ISBN 9780511493232. OCLC 938986701.
  • Mazzucato, Mariana (2013). The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Myths in Risk and Innovation (PDF). London: Anthem Press. ISBN 978-0-857-28260-6. OCLC 880908782. Wikidata page Wikidata (View with Reasonator)
  • Jacobs, Michael; Mazzucato, Mariana, eds. (2016). Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. London: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-119-31163-8. OCLC 954000776.
  • Mazzucato, Mariana (2018). The Value of Everything: Makers and Takers in the Global Economy. London: Allen Lane-Penguin. ISBN 978-0-241-18882-8. OCLC 1049151753.
  • Mazzucato, Mariana (2021). Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism. London: Allen Lane-Penguin. ISBN 978-0-241-41973-1. OCLC 1222804339.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ "Curriculum Vitae". Official website. Mariana Mazzucato. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b O’Connell, Gerard (March 29, 2020). "Pope Francis warns of 'a viral genocide' if governments put the economy before people amid coronavirus pandemic". America Magazine. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Heritage, Stuart. "From Gladwell and Dawkins to Mukherjee – the world's greatest minds". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "WHO establishes Council on the Economics of Health for All". Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  5. ^ UCL (February 1, 2021). "IIPP Director Professor Mariana Mazzucato appointed to United Nations role". UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  6. ^ "President Cyril Ramaphosa appoints Economic Advisory Council". Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "Why the Moon Landing Is a Great Blueprint for Modern Miracles". Bloomberg.
  8. ^ Judis, John B. (August 21, 2013). "The Three Most Important Thinkers About Innovation You Need To Know". The New Republic.
  9. ^ "Obituary of Alessandra Mazzucato". The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. 2011.
  10. ^ a b Alessandra Mazzucato obituary, Town Topics, February 16, 2011
  11. ^ "Mariana Mazzucato, Economics '98, Makes the Case for the Entrepreneurial State". New School News. October 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "Mariana Mazzucato". Institute for New Economic Thinking. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Lederer, Katy (November 26, 2019). "Meet the Leftish Economist With a New Story About Capitalism". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Mazzucato, Mariana Francesca (February 1998). Four Essays on Evolutionary Market Share Dynamics: A Computational Approach (Ph.D.). New School for Social Research. OCLC 55114214. ProQuest 304514825
  15. ^ a b c d "Governance / Board of directors / Mariana Mazzucato". Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Geroski, P. A.; Mazzucato, M. (July 26, 2001). "Modelling the dynamics of industry populations". International Journal of Industrial Organization. 19 (7): 1003–1022. doi:10.1016/S0167-7187(01)00060-1. S2CID 154518403 – via
  17. ^ Geroski, P. A.; Mazzucato, M. (May 1, 2002). "Myopic selection". Metroeconomica. 53 (2): 181–199. doi:10.1111/1467-999X.00139. S2CID 51749661 – via
  18. ^ a b Geroski, Paul; Mazzucato, Mariana (August 1, 2002). "Learning and the sources of corporate growth". Industrial and Corporate Change. 11 (4): 623–644. doi:10.1093/icc/11.4.623 – via
  19. ^ "Research into innovation and international development at The Open University | Open University".
  20. ^ "Distinguished Visiting Scholars Scheme recipients 2014". University of Technology Sydney. April 16, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Mariana Mazzucato Net Worth (2021)". Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Global Future Councils". World Economic Forum.
  23. ^ "Innovation Union". European Commission – European Commission.
  24. ^ "Labour announces new Economic Advisory Committee". Labour Press. September 27, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  25. ^ "Council of Economic Advisers -".
  26. ^ "Sustainable Development Solutions Network | Leadership Council". Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  27. ^ "Commission launches work on major research and innovation missions for cancer, climate, oceans and soil". European Commission. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  28. ^ "European Commissioner Carlos Moedas visits UCL". UCL News. June 14, 2019. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  29. ^ "2019 Madame de Staël Prize". Allea. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  30. ^ "CDP Membership (1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021) | Department of Economic and Social Affairs". Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  31. ^ "The Brazilian Innovation System - CGEE".
  32. ^ "Ministro recebe estudo sobre inovação de Mazzucato". Ministério da Defesa.
  33. ^ "Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean". April 19, 2016.
  34. ^ "Selected publications : Mariana Mazzucato : University of Sussex".
  35. ^ "Demirel, P. and Mazzucato, M. (2010), The Evolution of Firm Growth Dynamics in the US Pharmaceutical Industry, Regional Studies, Volume 44 Issue 8, 1053" (PDF).
  36. ^ Mazzucato, Mariana; Tancioni, Massimiliano (May 26, 2008). "Innovation and idiosyncratic risk: an industry- and firm-level analysis". Industrial and Corporate Change. 17 (4): 779–811. doi:10.1093/icc/dtn024 – via
  37. ^ Mazzucato, Mariana (December 26, 2003). "Risk, variety and volatility: growth, innovation and stock prices in early industry evolution". Journal of Evolutionary Economics. 13 (5): 491–512. doi:10.1007/s00191-003-0167-7 – via
  38. ^ Mazzucato, Mariana (April 26, 2002). "The PC Industry: new economy or early life-cycle?". Review of Economic Dynamics. 5 (2): 318–345. doi:10.1006/redy.2002.0164 – via
  39. ^ "Mariana Mazzucato". June 27, 2017.
  40. ^ Mazzucato, M (2013). The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths. Anthem. ISBN 978-0-85728-252-1.
  41. ^ a b "Winners only the state can pick: Mariana Mazzucato's The Entrepreneurial State" by Robert D. Atkinson, The Hill, June 23, 2013
  42. ^ Mazzucato, M (2013). The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths. Anthem. pp. 113–164. ISBN 978-0-85728-252-1.
  43. ^ Mazzucato, M (June 10, 2013). The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths. Anthem. pp. 181–191. ISBN 978-0-85728-252-1.
  44. ^ Mazzucato, Mariana; Lazonick, William (August 1, 2013). "The risk-reward nexus in the innovation-inequality relationship: who takes the risks? Who gets the rewards?". Industrial and Corporate Change. 22 (4): 1093–1128. doi:10.1093/icc/dtt019.
  45. ^ "Mazzucato, M. (2012), Policy Network, Rebalancing What?: Reforming finance for creative destruction not destructive creation".
  46. ^ Collins, Philip. "Review: The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato — how to save capitalism". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  47. ^ Mazzucato, M. "From Market Fixing to Market-Creating: A new framework for innovation policy". Industry and Innovation. 23 (2).
  48. ^ Page, Tim; Walz, Rainer; Pianta, Mario; Landesmann, Michael A.; Stiglitz, Joseph E.; Dosi, Giovanni; Cimoli, Mario; Mazzucato, Mariana (June 1, 2015). "Which Industrial Policy Does Europe Need?". Intereconomics – Review of European Economic Policy. 2015 (3): 120–155 – via
  49. ^ a b Ghosh, Jayati (January 19, 2021). "Lessons from the Moonshot for fixing global problems". Nature. 589 (7842): 349–350. Bibcode:2021Natur.589..349G. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00076-1.
  50. ^ Mazzucato, M; Perez, C (2015). "Chapter 8: Innovation as Growth Policy". In Fagerberg, J; Laestadius, S; Martin, B (eds.). The Triple Challenge: Europe in a New Age. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 978-0-198-74741-3.
  51. ^ Mazzucato, M; Penna, C (2015). "The Rise of Mission-Oriented State Investment Banks: The Cases of Germany's KfW and Brazil's BNDES". SPRU Working Paper Series. 2015–2026.
  52. ^ Mazzucato, M; Penna, C (2014). "Beyond market failures: "The market creating and shaping roles of state investment banks" (PDF). SPRU Working Paper Series. 2014–2021.
  53. ^ John Kay (January 13, 2021). "Mission Economy by Mariana Mazzucato — could moonshot thinking help fix the planet?". Financial Times.
  54. ^ "A much-maligned engine of innovation" by Martin Wolf, Financial Times, August 4, 2013
  55. ^ "The entrepreneurial state", The Economist, August 31, 2013
  56. ^ "The Intellectual Hole At The Heart Of Mariana Mazzucato's Entrepreneurial State" by Tim Worstall, Forbes, December 15, 2013
  57. ^ "Books of the Year". Financial Times. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  58. ^ Westlake, Stian (November 11, 2014). "Interrogating the entrepreneurial state". The Guardian. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  59. ^ "Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis 2014: Die Shortlist". Handelsblatt Media Group (in German). August 15, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  60. ^ "Meet the 2019 Schumpeter Lecturer – Mariana Mazzucato". European Commission. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  61. ^ "Preisträger 2016". Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  62. ^ UHasselt. "Honorary Doctorates". Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  63. ^ "SFU announces 2020 Honorary Degree recipients". Simon Fraser University. April 2, 2020.
  64. ^ "IIPP Director awarded 2018 Leontief Economics Prize". UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. October 4, 2017.
  65. ^ Washington Post Live. "The Next Big Idea: Climate Change & The Economy with Mariana Mazzucato & Tom Steyer". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  66. ^ "Economist Mariana Mazzucato, Winner of the 2019 Madame de Staël Prize |". Allea. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  67. ^ "Mariana Mazzucato - Agenda Contributor". World Economic Forum. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  68. ^ "Financial Times and McKinsey announce shortlist for 2018 Business Book of the Year Award". Financial Times. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  69. ^ "John von Neumann Award". Rajk Szakkollégium (in Hungarian). Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  70. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved May 18, 2021. External link in |title= (help)

External links[edit]