Saturday, May 12, 2018

Brad DeLong — The extremely intelligent Martin Wolf reviews Maria Mazzucato

I would post a link to Martin Wolf's article but it is behind a paywall at the Financial Times. So this will have to do unless you have access.

Somewhat embarrassingly, Brad DeLong gets Mariana Mazzacuto's name wrong. Oh, well, I make mistakes like that, too, on occasion.

Wolf review poses a very pregnant question, "… she forces us to ask ourselves what adds value to society and how to create an economic and social order that promotes that."

The extremely intelligent Martin Wolf reviews Maria Mazzucato.
Brad DeLong
Crossposted at Grasping Reality


Unknown said...

Here is the archived Martin Wolf article

Tom Hickey said...

Thanks for providing the link.

I find it somewhat surprising that the MM's points are about economic rent, rent extraction and rent-seeking, but Wolf doesn't mention rent at all. Perhaps MM doesn't either. I don't have the book to check.

Ralph Musgrave said...

I’m three quarters of the way thru Mazzucato’s latest book. Basically I regard her as a wind bag, though a skilled one.

Re what constitutes “value”, we already have a system for doing that: value is assumed to equal what the free market pays for anything, except where we as a society decide to overrule the free market, which is what we do for example with kids’ education, which is available for free, rather than at free market price. And another example: alcoholic drinks are only available at way above free market price, for obvious reasons.

As for her claim that much of the financial sector’s activities do not add value, that’s hardly an original claim. We all know that. The difficulty is in framing laws which cut down on the fraudulent and semi-fraudulent activities of that sector without damaging the useful or "value adding" activities of that sector. As Adair Turner (former head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority) said several years ago, much of the finance sector is “socially useless”. See: