Mariana Mazzucato: “When the State helps a company, the counterparts must be part of the deal”

Mariana Mazzucato published in 2013, in English, a fascinating book “The entrepreneurial state, demystifying the public-private opposition”. Already reissued twelve times in Italy, the country of origin of this economics professor who teaches at University College London (UCL), after spending time in Silicon Valley, it had never been translated into French . It has only just been published, in an updated version, by Fayard.

With the Covid-19 crisis, we are rediscovering the virtues of the state in our liberal societies. Too bad your book, which highlights them, was not translated into French earlier …

It is true. And that’s a shame, because the way in which state intervention is structured is very important for its success.

Faced with the crisis, is the State naive or strategist?

When you read your book today, after the emergency and recovery plans, you get the impression that it inspired all the states of the rich countries: you defend the importance of public intervention in the processes of innovation to accelerate growth. What all governments are trying to do today …

Unfortunately, they often understand the real issues when it is almost too late. The idea that the state is there only to compensate for failures or market limitations has dominated for too long. We must systematically wait for this failure – like the financial crisis of 2008-2009 – for governments to react. But there are many less visible failures that go untreated.

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