An Entrepreneurial State?
This week we consider the role that governments play in creating some of the most disruptive, and profit making, technologies of our time. Do our lumbering government bureaucracies also contain the vital engines of enterprise?
Economists have long recognised that the state has a role in promoting innovation, but one of our guests this week argues that an entrepreneurial state does far more than just make up for the private sector's shortcomings. Through the big bets it makes on new technologies, such as aircraft or the internet, it can create and shape the markets of the future. But should it?
To debate this issue we have brought together Mariana Mazzucato, professor of economics and innovation at the University of Sussex; Arun Majumdar, vice president for energy at Google and soon to join Stanford University as Jay Precourt professor. He was previously the founding director of ARPA-E, the US federal government's lead programme for investing in high-risk, high-reward energy research. And Mark LIttlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, A free market think-tank in the UK.
(Image: President Obama making a speech about innovation and entrepreneurship in June 2014)