The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State

Deirdre N. McCloskey , Alberto Mingardi
Title book

Anno 2020

The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State

 A common narrative of the post-World War II economists was that the State is indispensable for guiding investment and fostering innovation. They claimed that the wealth of the modern world is the result of past State guidance and that what is needed for future economic growth is more State guidance. This position has recently been rejuvenated in reaction to the Great Recession of 2008.

The truth is that the enriched modern economy was not a product of State coercion. It was a product of a change in political and social rhetoric in northwestern Europe from 1517 to 1789. The Great Enrichment, that is, came from human ingenuity emancipated from the bottom up, not human ingenuity directed from the top down.

The true question is what on balance is the best way to organize innovation—by the “wise State” or by commercially tested betterment?