Mazzucato wins the inaugural prize for her work
on the “entrepreneurial state” and innovation in the public sector.
Mariana Mazzucato, of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, has been awarded the inaugural New Statesman SPERI prize for political economy.
The prize was launched this year by the New Statesman magazine and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield.
The Prize will be awarded biennially to the scholar who has succeeded most effectively in disseminating original and critical ideas in political economy to a wider public audience over the preceding two or three years.
The shortlist for the prize contained some of the most innovative and exciting thinkers in political economy working today. They were: Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge); Mariana Mazzucato (University of Sussex); Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics); Wolfgang Streeck (Max Planck Institute, Cologne); Anne Wren (Trinity College, Dublin); and Simon Wren-Lewis (University of Oxford).
The Prize Jury was Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of the New Statesman; George Eaton, Political Editor of the New Statesman; Professor Tony Payne, Director of SPERI; Professor Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the International Advisory Board of SPERI; Sarah O’Connor, Economics Correspondent at The Financial Times; and Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive of The Resolution Foundation.
In its announcement of the shortlist, the jury said of the winner: “Mariana Mazzucato is a professor in the economics of innovation at the University of Sussex. She is an accomplished broadcaster and writer, and her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State contained a wealth of examples showing how the state – not just the private sector – could foster innovation. The judges praised the originality of her thinking, her willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom and her capacity to take her arguments forward with gusto.”
Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of the New Statesman, added: “Mariana Mazzucato is one of the most engaging and interesting thinkers currently working in the field of political economy. Her work on the entrepreneurial state and smart growth is required reading for anyone working in economic policy-making.”
Professor Tony Payne, Director of SPERI, noted: “Mariana Mazzucato is a fabulous first winner of this new Prize. She fulfils the criteria that describe the prize to the letter.”
Professor Mazzucato said: ‘I am honoured and delighted to receive the New Statesman SPERI prize, especially given the high calibre of the shortlist. I hope it will help focus attention on the urgent need to tackle rising inequality. This is not just about tax: we need to fundamentally rethink how we talk about wealth creation. Ignoring the key role of the state – or the tax payer – in wealth creation has, in my view, been a lead cause of inequality, allowing some (hyped up) actors to reap a rate of return way beyond their actual contribution. My Prize Lecture will focus on this dysfunctional dynamic – and what to do about it.”
Professor Mazzucato will deliver The New Statesman SPERI Prize Lecture at the Emmanuel Centre in London at 6.30pm on Thursday 13 November. Its title will be: “Smart growth: an innovative way to tackle inequality”. The lecture is free, but places are limited. For more details, see newstatesman.com/Events|News.