The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

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PublicAffairs, Sep 11, 2018 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
Modern economies reward activities that extract value rather than create it. This must change to ensure a capitalism that works for us all.

Shortlisted for the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

A scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way in which economic value has been accounted and reveals how economic theory has failed to clearly delineate the difference between value creation and value extraction. Mariana Mazzucato argues that the increasingly blurry distinction between the two categories has allowed certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as value creators, while in reality they are just moving around existing value or, even worse, destroying it.

The book uses case studies-from Silicon Valley to the financial sector to big pharma-to show how the foggy notions of value create confusion between rents and profits, reward extractors and creators, and distort the measurements of growth and GDP. In the process, innovation suffers and inequality rises.

The lesson here is urgent and sobering: to rescue our economy from the next inevitable crisis and to foster long-term economic growth, we will need to rethink capitalism, rethink the role of public policy and the importance of the public sector, and redefine how we measure value in our society.

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According to Betsy Warrior's view in the Houseworkers Handbook: "Economics, as it's presented today, lacks any basis in reality as it leaves out the very foundation of economic life. That foundation is built on women's labor; first her reproductive labor which produces every new laborer (and the first commodity, which is mother's milk and which sustains every new consumer/laborer); secondly, women's labor entails environmentally necessary cleaning, cooking to make raw materials consumable, negotiating to maintain social stability and nurturing, which prepares for market and maintains each laborer.
This constitutes women's continuing industry enabling laborers to occupy every position in the work force. Without this fundamental labor and commodity there would be no economic activity nor would we have survived to continue to evolve.”


Making versus Taking
What is Value?
Why Value Theory Matters
A Brief History of Value
The Rise of
Measuring the Wealth of Nations
A Colossus is Born
Financialization of the Real Economy
Extracting Value through the Innovation Economy
About the Author
Undervaluing the Public Sector
The Economics of Hope
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About the author (2018)

Mariana Mazzucato is professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she directs the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is the winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize for Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis, and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She was named as one of the "three most important thinkers about innovation" by the New Republic. She advises global policy makers on innovation-driven inclusive growth and is Special Advisor to the EU commissioner for research, science and innovation. She is a coeditor of Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth and the author of the award-winning The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths.

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