Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, is the author of “The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy.” Follow her on Twitter: @MazzucatoM. Giulio Quaggiotto, a former head of the Regional Innovation Center in the Asia Pacific at the United Nations Development Programme, works at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation.
LONDON – Decades of privatization, outsourcing, and budget cuts in the name of “efficiency” have significantly hampered many governments’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, successful responses by other governments have shown that investments in core public-sector capabilities make all the difference in times of emergency. The countries that have handled the crisis well are those where the state maintains a productive relationship with value creators in society, by investing in critical capacities and designing private-sector contracts to serve the public interest.