Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight.
In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed.
Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism - radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.
Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL) where she is also Founder and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is author of the highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, and winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthofer-Preis and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She advises policymakers around the world on how to deliver 'smart', inclusive and sustainable growth. She was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' in the New Republic.