UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Rethinking value

Creating a new framework to understand and recognise where value is really created in economies, and where value is being extracted.

In standard economic theory and public policy frameworks, value is collapsed into monetary value which itself is derived from the price a commodity or service can be exchanged for in competitive markets. But price is not always a good reflection of value nor an effective signal for channelling investment. 

IIPP’s research seeks to develop a new framework for understanding value creation and value extraction in modern capitalist economies.  This approach views the state as having a key role in co-shaping markets to tackle societal challenges and generate public value, and not merely limit itself to correcting market failures.

We will develop new ways of evaluating public value that go beyond traditional allocative efficiency models using, for example, cost-benefit analysis, to dynamic efficiency approaches which can capture the impact of structural changes to the economy that a market-shaping approach to policy can achieve. 

IIPP is also developing a modern theory of economic rent, building on classical economic thought and addressing the latest developments in finance, land and technology.


Current research projects

Rethinking health innovation Tai Chi
Rethinking health innovation

IIPP is researching alternatives to shareholder-dominated models of medical innovation that could achieve better outcomes both for innovation as well as its affordability and access for patients. Learn more.

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Research streams

Public value and public purpose

A key pillar of IIPP's work will be rethinking how concepts of public value and public purpose can be applied in the real economy, creating a new framework for innovation-led public policy. Learn more.

Risks and rewards

IIPP will look at the distribution of risks and rewards throughout the value creation process to explore how innovation led-growth can also be more inclusive growth. Learn more.

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Working papers

Economics of Change working paper
IIPP WP 2018-06: The economics of change: Policy and appraisal for missions, market shaping and public purpose

Rainer KattelMariana MazzucatoJosh Ryan-Collins, Simon Sharpe

Rethinking Value in Health Innovation: from mystifications towards prescriptions
IIPP WP 2017-04: Rethinking Value in Health Innovation: from mystifications towards prescriptions

Mariana MazzucatoVictor Roy


The Value of Everything
The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

Mariana Mazzucato (Allen Lane, 26 April 2018)

Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing
Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing

Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd and Laurie Macfarlane (Zed Books, 28 February 2017)

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