''Erixon and Weigel know how to make their case seductive and entertaining.''
- Financial Times

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About the book


Why has Western economic growth stalled?

Conventional wisdom holds that America and Europe are on threshold of an innovation boom, one that will lead to a new era of high economic growth. With expertise spanning academia and the business world, Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel refute this idea. Bringing together an array of data from the past forty years and drawing on examples from the business world, including Uber, Microsoft, Apple and IBM, they show that Western capitalism has lost its propensity for experimentation, adaptation and economic growth.

This riveting book reveals the obstacles hindering our future prosperity. Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel argue that modern corporate practices are no longer compatible with a rapid increase in innovation-led productivity growth. Western firms, today, have owners that want predictability and managers that shield companies from strong innovation competition. Governments have also played their part through the creation of excessive and complex regulations that foster uncertainty. And globalization once a key force for global growth no longer propels technology and competition as much as before. These forces have made capitalism dull and hidebound and crucially less receptive to innovation.

The consequences of poor economic growth on inequality, opportunity, and political stability surround us. Whilst many commentators and economic doyens worry about the impact that robots will have on jobs, The Innovation Illusion shows why our primary concern should be a dearth of innovation. Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel lay out a road map to foster a culture of innovation and help halt the trajectory of economic decline. Thought-provoking and insightful, this book is required reading for business leaders, policymakers and all those interested in the future.

About the authors


Fredrik Erixon

Fredrik is the director and cofunder of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), an international economics think tank based in Brussels.

Fredrik co-founded ECIPE institute in 2006 and, for the past ten years, he has been working to reform economic policies around the world. He is also directing ECIPE’s Five Freedoms Project, which is aiming at revitalizing Europe’s economic openness. Fredrik has authored or co-authored several books and studies in the fields of international economics and economic policy, including Europe in Emerging Asia and Transatlantic Free Trade. Fredrik has previously worked in academia, government, banking, journalism and international organisations.


Björn Weigel

Björn Weigel is a business strategist, investor and entrepreneur. He has extensive experience in growing innovative companies and start-ups. His career began as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

How to strategize around, manage and balance company growth is the common denominator when managing, advising, chairing or investing in private companies. Contesting markets requires an appetite for exploring uncertainty and making room for entrepreneurship, and that is what Bjorn contributes in his engagement for companies in robotics, wearable technology, Internet retail, and more.

Policy issues and prosperity for society writ large was always important and he is for that reason a member of the ECIPE board. He also gives speeches on topics related to The Innovation Illusion and economic growth.

Björn commenced his university studies in Canada before moving back to Sweden and eventually Stockholm University. He lives outside of Stockholm with his family.

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