UCL News


UCL professor awarded 2018 Leontief Prize

18 April 2018

UCL economist, Professor Mariana Mazzucato, has been formally awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, at a ceremony in Medford, Massachusetts, USA.

Mariana Mazzucato

The prize, which is given each year to two leading theorists, recognises outstanding contributions to economic theory that address contemporary realities and support just and sustainable societies.

Professor Mazzucato, Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, received the award for her path-breaking thinking on the positive role of governments and public sector investment in fostering innovation.

Dr. Branko Milanovic, Visiting Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center City University of New York, was a joint recipient for his vital contributions to measuring and responding to global income and inequality.

Tufts University's Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), which awards the prize, held a presentation ceremony for the two scholars yesterday (Tuesday 17 April).

Professor Mazzucato said: "I'm thrilled to receive the Leontief Prize, along with Branko Milanovic. My focus on producing innovation-led growth driven by societal missions, and Branko's focus on ambitious public policies that can reduce inequality, can together be a platform for not only rethinking economics but also for achieving innovation-led inclusive growth."

Neva Goodwin, Co-Director of the GDAE, said: "What have been insufficiently recognised, before the work of Mariana Mazzucato, is the critical role of governments in innovation and hence the role of the public sector in the process of wealth creation.

"As Mazzucato points out, taxpayers have been the real venture capitalists, funding not only upstream basic science, but also some of the riskiest investments downstream. Her work argues for concrete ways to make sure both the risks and the rewards are better shared to that smart growth is also more inclusive growth."

The Leontief Prize was founded in 2000 in memory of Nobel prize-winning economist Wassily Leontief. The Leontief Prize recognises economists whose work combines theoretical and empirical research to promote a more comprehensive understanding of social and environmental processes.

Mariana Mazzucato is the author of several highly-acclaimed books.  Her latest, The Value of Everything - making and taking in the global economy, will be launched next Monday April 23, 2018. Previously, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths, was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. 



UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Leontief Prize

Media Contacts

Mathew Hanratty

Communications Manager

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


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