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The Value of Everything: Making and Taking…
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The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (edição 2019)

por Mariana Mazzucato (Autor)

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1776116,111 (4.14)2
"Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight. In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value--what it is, why it matters to us--is simply no longer discussed. Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism--radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it--we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in"--Publisher's description.… (mais)
Membro:GLauder
Título:The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy
Autores:Mariana Mazzucato (Autor)
Informação:Penguin (2019), Edition: 2, 384 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:53: GMLO (New): 1BC (Right) 1S (Bottom), Economics, Economy, Business

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

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This book starts with a potted revision of greats like Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Walras, Jevons, Marshall, Pareto, and many more in between, with some original comments and insights of the author; always welcome, given how complex the concepts and principles of economics are and how many different (and contradictory) opinions abound. The central idea in the book is that the public or government sector is not as inefficient and backward as has been made out in recent times, and that the private sector successes are often built on the foundation of capabilities and innovations that were laid in the public institutions. The author stresses the need to differentiate between value production and value extraction in judging the efficiency and performance of private companies. While the body of the book brings together valuable information and presents ideas in a helpful and scholarly manner, the concluding part (where one would expect signposts for the future) falls oddly flat, as it appears to fizzle out in some vague generalisations. The end notes and bibliography provide a valuable resource, however, for the more diligent reader. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | Dec 14, 2020 |
This book poses very interesting questions: What does creating value mean? Who is making, and who is taking?

The first few chapters detail the history of economics from the perspective of value creation. The central problem is where to draw the production boundary – activities inside it create value, whereas activities outside it do not. The ideas from many famous economists, such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx, are explained. Typically agriculture and manufacturing were placed inside the production boundary.

Next, the theories of marginal utility and scarcity are explained. This is also when price becomes the measure of value, and anything that is bought or sold is now by definition considered to be inside the production boundary. However, a problem with this is that value extraction (rent) can masquerade as value creation. This is the central theme of the book.

Calculating GDP is tricky. However, many oddities in how it is calculated are pointed out. For example, state-funded activities that are provided below market price, or for free, are not handled well. Examples include schools, universities, health care, and public transport. Another example: are investments in R&D productive? Yes, this was added in 2008. Or – how should owning a house be treated? If it is counted as the value of the equivalent rent, then a housing bubble increases GDP.

The next three chapters cover banks and financialization. Banks and financial markets were for a long time just regarded as a cost of doing business, and not producing any value. But this view changed with the deregulation at the end of the 20th century, and banks and financial markets are now counted as part of the GDP. These chapters cover a lot of the arguments of problems with banking today, such as “too big to fail” giving large institutions an implicit guarantee of being bailed out, and complex regulation acting like a barrier to entry.

Finance’s growing share of GDP is usually celebrated. However, the author’s view is that if finance truly is efficient in serving the needs of the “real” economy, then its share of GDP should decrease over time, not increase. She makes the following analogy: if the cost of bus tickets kept rising, you would demand to know why the bus company kept getting less efficient, and you would investigate if it used monopoly power to push up its prices (from page 109).

There is also a part on the practise of buying companies and stripping them of assets and taking on debt but at the same time under-investing in the business, and on the problems with the concept of Maximizing Shareholder Value (MSV), including share buy-backs.

In the chapter on innovation, the author argues that innovations come from a broad set of factors (including government-funded research), but that venture capitalists have managed to get an outsized share of the rewards. Furthermore, she argues that patents have gone from stimulating innovation to stifling it. Patents now last longer, can be renewed, are easier to obtain, and can now cover not only products, but the knowledge behind them. This has fuelled rent-seeking, and caused ridiculous drug prices, such as $1000 a pill for a drug called Sovaldi.

Finally, the author covers how what the public sector does is consistently undervalued. A lot of what the government does is only considered a cost, but the value (health care, infrastructure etc) is not counted. She also shows some examples of how privatization and outsourcing of health care in England has led to high cost, low quality and minimal transparency – exactly the problems it was supposed to solve.

Overall, a really good and interesting book that makes a lot of good points. I liked how it described the history of economics and where to draw the production boundary, and how that has changed. However, it would have been nice if the author had a definition of what should be considered producing value, and what should be considered the opposite (value extraction). There where many good examples of unproductive and rent-seeking behaviour in many domains, but it is still unclear to me where to draw the line. For example, some functions banks perform are good for the “real” economy, but excessive trading between themselves, or naked credit default swaps (CDSs) are not. The same goes for patents. So when do you cross the line? Also, what should be done to prevent this? Not easy questions to answer, and I suppose just raising them is a necessary first step. Anyway, definitely a thought-provoking read!
( )
  Henrik_Warne | Dec 13, 2020 |
An excellent argument for the relativity of 'value,' made from the perspective of an economist rather than a critical theorist. How do we calculate economic growth? In short, we include things made by private businesses, and exclude the work--'economic' or otherwise--of those who are not being employed by private businesses. Once you've done that, it's pretty easy to claim that tax cuts for the rich are the only ways to increase growth. Of course, once you recognize this, you should recognize that our understanding of 'value' itself needs to be altered. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
I'm just a curious reader of Economics, so there are quite a few things I learnt from this book. The central question 'What is value?' is the core of this book - as the title goes. The terms 'value creation' and 'value extraction' are illustrated through many examples.

The first few chapters talk about the history of Economics and how people's understanding about value got defined/transformed through production boundary and theory of marginal utility.

I was astounded by how complex it is to calculate GDP though it has a very simple definition - the measure used to calculate the growth of goods and services in an economy.

The few chapters talk about banks and the financial world. It is here that things became quite abstruse for me. Clearly, I need to learn more about Economics. I wish with better understanding of this vast subject, I'll be able to fully appreciate books like this in future. ( )
  nmarun | Jun 13, 2020 |
Deducted one star because, like all Keynesians ( post, neo or otherwise ) Mazzucato seeks to save capitalism from itself so, from my perspective, the conclusions are less than compelling. Good grasp of the labour theory of value & TRPTF and familiar with Rubin, which is impressive. ( )
  P1g5purt | Apr 1, 2020 |
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"Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight. In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value--what it is, why it matters to us--is simply no longer discussed. Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism--radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it--we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in"--Publisher's description.

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