Mariana Mazzucato, Founding Director and Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), recently published her working paper “Governing the economics of the common good: from correcting market failures to shaping collective goals”. In the introductory section, she quotes diverse papers published by the Economy for the Common Good (ECG) and shares the analysis that the goals of the economy are not clearly defined in economics.

As stated in her abstract: “To meet today’s grand challenges, economics requires an understanding of how common objectives may be collaboratively set and met. Tied to the assumption that the state can, at best, fix market failures and is always at risk of ‘capture’, economic theory has been unable to offer such a framework. To move beyond such limiting assumptions, the paper provides a renewed conception of the common good, going beyond the classic public good and commons approach, as a way of steering and shaping (rather than just fixing) the economy towards collective goals.

The Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) at UCL aims to develop a new framework for creating, nurturing and evaluating public value in order to achieve economic growth that is more innovation-led, inclusive and sustainable. A key pillar of IIPP’s research is its understanding of markets as outcomes of the interactions between different actors. In this context, public policy should not be seen as simply fixing market failures, but also as actively shaping and co-creating markets. Re-focusing and designing public organisations around mission-led, public purpose aims will help tackle the grand challenges facing the 21st century.

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