Government as Entrepreneur

Overview

Government acts as entrepreneur when its involvement in market activities is both innovative and characterized by entrepreneurial risk. Thinking of government as entrepreneur is a unique lens through which the authors of this book examine a specific subset of U.S. government policy actions. As such, their viewpoint underscores the purposeful intent of government, its ability to act in new and innovative ways, and its willingness to undertake policy actions that have uncertain ...

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Overview

Government acts as entrepreneur when its involvement in market activities is both innovative and characterized by entrepreneurial risk. Thinking of government as entrepreneur is a unique lens through which the authors of this book examine a specific subset of U.S. government policy actions. As such, their viewpoint underscores the purposeful intent of government, its ability to act in new and innovative ways, and its willingness to undertake policy actions that have uncertain outcomes.

Viewing particular policy actions through an entrepreneurial lens is useful in two broad dimensions. First, it underscores the forward looking nature of policy makers as well as the need to evaluate the social outputs and outcomes of their behavior in terms of broad spillover impacts. Second, government acting as entrepreneur parallels in concept similar activities that occur in the private sector.

Government as Entrepreneur is the first broad effort to emphasize the entrepreneurial aspects of governments. It is also the first systematic treatment of U.S. innovation policies to promote the formation of strategic research partnerships. It will foster a new perspective on the role of government and how incentives for government to act entrepreneurially might be institutionalized; it will serve as a vehicle for policy makers and scholars to think about the entrepreneurial actors in an economy, in a new way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In recent years, both scholars and public policy have discovered the central role entrepreneurs play as a vital force for innovation, employment, and economic growth. This has led to a renaissance for entrepreneurship as both a scholarly field and as a focus for public policy. Most of the literature, however, highlights the role of entrepreneurs in isolation from their institutional and policy context. With the publication of this path breaking new book, Link and Link make abundantly clear the central role played by the government as entrepreneur. Using poignant case studies to enliven a compelling theoretical framework, this important new book underscores the crucial entrepreneurial role contributed by public policy."—David B. Audretsch, Director, Max Planck Institute of Economics

"Al and Jamie Link have written the first really noteworthy book on the contemporary role of government-as-entrepreneur. The book will appeal to serious thinkers all along the spectrum of politics and policy, not only those urging industrial policy but also those who before reading this fine work thought that 'government' and 'entrepreneur' existed together only as an oxymoron. Without ideological cudgels, Link and Link manage to show the role of government-as-entrepreneur, to provide historically-informed analysis of the emergence of the government role, and even accomplish the deft feat of combining serious academic analysis with compelling contextual and anecdotal information. This book will have wide appeal, both to practitioners and academics."—Barry Bozeman, Ander Crenshaw Chair of Public Policy, University of Georgia

"This timely and insightful book challenges our conventional notions regarding entrepreneurship, which have traditionally related solely to activities in the private sector. The authors carefully demonstrate how public sector agents and institutions promote entrepreneurship. By providing a unified theoretical framework to study this phenomenon, the book provides invaluable guidance to policymakers designing policies to promote entrepreneurship and scholars examining the antecedents and consequences of such initiatives."—Donald S. Siegel, Dean and Professor, School of Business, University at Albany, SUNY

"Link and Link have pioneered a new approach to thinking about government and the process of policy formation. This book should greatly influence policy makers' perspective of the impact of the public sector on society."—Greg Tassey, Senior Economist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195369458
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/14/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert N. Link is professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research focuses on innovation policy, university entrepreneurship, and the economics of R&D. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Technology Transfer, author of numerous books including Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technological Change (Oxford University Press, 2007) and vice-chairperson of the Innovation and Competitiveness Policies Committee of the United Nation's Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Jamie R. Link is a research staff member at the Science and Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. She was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2003 National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Competition and was named as one of Technology Review's "World's 100 Top Young Innovators under 35." She has served as a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow and as a Fulbright Scholar at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.

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