Mariana Mazzucato

FINNOV Coordinator and leader WP 2
University of Sussex

Mariana Mazzucato

Professor in Economics at the University of Sussex, where she holds the RM Phillips Chair in Science and Technology Policy. She is the Economics Director of the ESRC Innogen Centre and member of the High Level Economic Policy Expert Group in the EC – i4g (Innovation for Growth). Her widely published work focusses on the theoretical and economic relationship between innovation and growth, and in her latest work, The Entrepreneurial State, she argues that active State investment has been the secret behind most radical innovations. She is active in the media, and has recently argued that austerity in the Eurozone will potentially kill off innovation. More information on her projects, media involvement, and publications can be found on

Contact information


Blog posts

Austerity plans are based on the wrong diagnosis of the wrong problem -- and may plunge Europe into depression. Governments must be able to spend strategically to encourage growth, or the crisis will only get worse.

The danger of cuts without growth

Today [29 November 2011] the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) is expected to downgrade the UK growth forecast to less than 1%. This is bad news because if the UK economy does not grow, the major cuts in spending will not achieve their goal of reducing the deficit, and hence have caused much suffering -especially for the weakest elements of society - for nothing. Cuts without growth don’t allow the deficit to fall because unemployment comes with a heavy cost to the public purse (e.g. unemployment benefits, loss of tax income, crime etc).

Contagion today is causing even the ‘core’ European countries to be affected by investors’ fear of the EuroZone (EZ) crisis, causing a mass selloff of EZ bonds which has caused the spread for French yields over German Bunds to hit a record high, and the Euro to fall. Even the stable Scandinavian countries, like Finland, are starting to get affected.

What exactly is the eurozone crisis? Is it a financial crisis? An economic crisis? Actually, it's a growth crisis. And as such, it must have growth solutions. Instead we are being bombarded every day with theatrical new developments (Papandreou's referendum, Berlusconi's wavering on reform and elections) that would make us think that it is all the fault of some corrupt and/or lazy politicians. Or the result of Europeans, and their governments, refusing to live within their means. The solution, we are told, is better politicians and belt-tightening.

What is often referred to as the ‘financial crisis’ is in many ways a ‘real economy’ crisis. It is no coincidence that two of the biggest problems, Greece and Italy, have the lowest productivity figures in Europe, and little spending on key areas that cause growth like R&D.