Earlier this year, economist Mariana Mazzucato upended conventional economic thinking. Her groundbreaking book, a Financial Times-McKinsey book of the year finalist, is now being released in the United States as “The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy” (Public Affairs, September 2018).
Mazzucato – one of the most honored and respected economists and a great orator – is the recent co-recipient of the 2018 Leontief Prize from Tufts University, which recognizes innovative work in economics that addresses contemporary realities and supports just and sustainable societies.
Mazzucato engages audiences in the business and finance community with her powerful argument and remarkable speaking skills: they (and everyone else) are defining economic value in the wrong way.
Mazzucato has a message and a warning for the business world. According to Mazzucato, contemporary capitalism is undermining itself, and saving it requires addressing issues such as inequality, the environment and the outsized economic power of a handful of large corporations.
Mazzucato argues that value needs to be measured in terms of what is actually produced, rather than short-term profits and inflated prices. Described by Barron’s interviewer Leslie P. Norton as “an elegant book…[describing] how we arrived at the current…notion that things are worth simply what someone is willing to pay,” “The Value of Everything” is essential reading for anyone in business, finance or public service. In the coming years, Mazzucato’s argument will become more prescient and pressing. Companies that prioritize share buybacks to boost stock prices would be wise to consider whether sufficient investment is being made in long-term innovation and growth.
“A timely book about crucial concepts that have slipped out of mainstream discourse. An exposé of how value extractors and rent-seekers have been masquerading as value creators in the global economy.” – Prospect
For this revolutionary economist, her new book is only the beginning of a journey to impact the way the world thinks about the policies we adopt – and who makes and who takes in the economy.