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Moonshots and the New Industrial Policy

Questioning the Mission Economy

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  • Open Access
  • © 2024

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Provides a systematic critique of mission-oriented innovation policies
  • Discusses the dangers of top-down or vertical approaches to industrial policy
  • Examines research on the misguided efforts to stimulate innovation and renewal

Part of the book series: International Studies in Entrepreneurship (ISEN, volume 56)

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About this book

This open access book raises some central questions: Do we need moonshot policies to spur innovation and economic growth? What are the risks associated with such policies?

Economic turbulence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and mounting environmental concerns have paved the way for a renaissance of targeted industrial policy. In particular, the idea that society should be organized around large missions is gaining momentum among high-income economies. However, the authors and editors of this volume contend that this shift has occurred without much critical examination, especially as the European Union has adopted these ideas, and Western economies are now increasingly organizing toward the achievement of large, state-formulated goals.

Recognizing the urgent need for continued scholarly attention to question notions of the mission economy, more than 20 scholars discuss the dangers of top-down/vertical approaches to industrial policy and draw attention to the progress of independent enterprise, entrepreneurialism, and market solutions in a sound economy and society. By critically examining mission-oriented innovation policies, using theoretical perspectives and empirical investigations, the book highlights both the mechanisms behind failed missions and alternative approaches. This is a must-read for policy researchers and policymakers alike.



Table of contents (17 chapters)

  1. Introductory Chapter

  2. Empirical Evidence

  3. Alternative Paths

Editors and Affiliations

  • Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm, Sweden

    Magnus Henrekson, Mikael Stenkula

  • Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden

    Christian Sandström

About the editors

Magnus Henrekson is a professor of Economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the president of IFN for 15 years until 2020. He previously held the Jacob Wallenberg Research Chair in the Department of Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. His primary research focus is entrepreneurship economics and the institutional determinants of the business climate. In addition to his academic qualifications, he has extensive experience as an advisor, board member, and lecturer in many different contexts, both in the business sector and the public sector.

Christian Sandström is a senior associate professor at Jönköping International Business School and the Ratio Institute in Sweden. His research concerns industrial transformation and the role of innovation policy. Sandström is a coeditor of the popular Open Access book “Questioning the Entrepreneurial State” (Springer, 2022). He has been a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge and ETH Zürich. Dr. Sandström has received several awards for his teaching at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Mikael Stenkula is an associate professor at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) in Sweden. His research focus is on entrepreneurship, business structures, and taxation. He has coauthored a textbook on entrepreneurship economics with Professor Magnus Henrekson and has published research about institutional reforms for European innovation and entrepreneurship.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Moonshots and the New Industrial Policy

  • Book Subtitle: Questioning the Mission Economy

  • Editors: Magnus Henrekson, Christian Sandström, Mikael Stenkula

  • Series Title: International Studies in Entrepreneurship

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-49195-5Published: 11 February 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-49198-6Published: 11 February 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-49196-2Published: 10 February 2024

  • Series ISSN: 1572-1922

  • Series E-ISSN: 2197-5884

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 331

  • Number of Illustrations: 14 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Economics, general, Economic Policy, Governance and Government

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