Rainer Kattel is professor and chair of innovation policy and technology governance at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. He is a member of the Evaluation Board of the Estonian Research Council. He also belongs to the European Commission’s expert group on public sector innovation. Since 2012, he has co-directed Estonia’s Science and Innovation Policy Monitoring Program. His main research area is industrial and innovation policies in catching-up economies, especially Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. He has published extensively on innovation policy and development economics. His recent books include Ragnar Nurkse: Trade and Development, co-edited with Jan A. Kregel and Erik S. Reinert, Anthem, 2009; Knowledge Governance: Reasserting the Public Interest co-edited with Leonardo Burlamaqui and Ana Celia Castro, Anthem, 2012; and Public Procurement for Innovation Policy: International Perspectives co-edited with Tarmo Kalvet and Veiko Lember, Springer, 2013. In 2012, he was awarded the Estonian National Science Prize in Social Sciences.
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For most economists and indeed for social scientists in general such a question induces shudders as already asking this seems wrong – aren’t governments more prone to failures than markets, and aren’t governments supposed to provide basic and stable institutions for markets to function?