The Irish Economy » Blog Archive » More on the Innovation Taskforce
An important post over at irisheconomy on the Innovation Taskforce report by John McHale argues that our economists need to engage fully with the analysis of innovation agenda.
Another reason that economists should not disengage from the debate is that government failures are pervasive in innovation policy. While government policies can play a critical supporting role in building the innovation system, international evidence shows they get it wrong much more often than they get it right. These failures are well documented by Josh Lerner in his recent Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed–and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press) [Economist article here]). The evidence would suggest, for example, that government-directed angel funds are a bad idea. On the other hand, policies that go with the grain of the market, such as government matches for international venture capital fund investments, stand a better chance of success. Economics has a central role in indentifying policies that work.