Learning from Overrated Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies: Seven Takeaways

19 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2023

See all articles by Magnus Henrekson

Magnus Henrekson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Christian Sandström

Chalmers University of Technology

Mikael Stenkula

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: November 6, 2023

Abstract

This paper integrates findings from several different case studies on Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies (MOIPs) and makes use of existing literature to briefly describe three other missions: The War on Cancer, homeownership in the United States, and the Swedish Million Program. Together with the analyses in the contributions in the volume Moonshots and the New Industrial Policy: Questioning the Mission Economy, seven takeaways regarding mission-oriented innovation policies are developed and described: 1) wicked problems cannot be solved through missions, 2) politicians and government agencies are not exempt from self-interest, 3) MOIPs are subject to rent seeking and mission capture, 4) policymakers lack information to design MOIPs, 5) MOIPs distort competition, 6) government support programs distort incentives and result in moral hazard, and 7) MOIPs ignore opportunity costs. These seven takeaways are illustrated using the cases described in this essay and in other contributions in the above-mentioned volume.

Keywords: Mission-oriented policies, Innovation policy, New industrial policy, Moonshots, Rent seeking, Public choice

JEL Classification: H50, L26, L52, O31, O38, P16

Suggested Citation

Henrekson, Magnus and Sandström, Christian and Stenkula, Mikael, Learning from Overrated Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies: Seven Takeaways (November 6, 2023). IFN Working Paper No. 1478, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4624761

Magnus Henrekson (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se/mh

Christian Sandström

Chalmers University of Technology

Gothenburg
SE-412 96 Goteborg
Sweden

Mikael Stenkula

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

P.O. Box 55665
Stockholm, 102 15
Sweden

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