The Giornale degli Economisti




НазваниеThe Giornale degli Economisti
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Conclusion


One of the striking features of this chapter is the extent to which Pareto’s core scientific thought, as reviewed in the previous chapter, was initially developed in the pages of the Giornale degli Economisti.


Methodology: the issue of methodology is systematically dealt with in Pareto’s books, and also in his early sociological articles published outside the Giornale degli Economisti, such as ‘Il compito della Sociologia fra le scienze sociali’ (Pareto 1897d [1980]), ‘I problemi della sociologia’ (Pareto 1899 [1980]) and ‘Programma e Sunto di in Corso di Sociologia (1906d [1980]). However, the experimental character of economic science is given significant emphasis in Pareto’s contributions to this journal, especially in his articles on pure economics. He also discussed the issue of methodology when reflecting on the work of others, such as his debate with Lombroso and comments on Novicow and Fornasari. But especially important is his ‘Economia sperimentale’ for identifying experimental approaches to economics phenomena which draw on his whole body of work, including methods in sociology, including exegesis as an experimental method in which the written work is treated as data, when investigating economic phenomena.


Pure Theory of Economic Equilibrium: the core scientific elements concerning Pareto’s pure economics were all almost entirely developed in the Giornale degli Economisti before being included in Pareto’s major books. The ‘Considerazioni’ articles anticipated the solution to the downward sloping demand curve and the demonstration that elementary ophelimity is not constant as the economic state changes. Also, the concern with the existence of ophelimity in the Cours is anticipated in the ‘Considerazioni’, which goes one step further by devoting considerable attention to the actual form that such functions might take in order to be a reasonable approximation to reality. Most importantly, the experimental index analysis of the Manuale for studying choice as a balance between tastes and obstacles was first developed in the 'Sunto’, where the ordinalist character of choice theory is much clearer than in the subsequent Manuel.


Applied Economics: almost all of Pareto’s enduring contributions to applied welfare theory commenced with articles in the Giornale degli Economisti. While the highest stage in the development of Pareto’s work on the theorems of welfare economics is to be found in Pareto’s Manuel, this was only possible given the developments in several of Pareto’s articles between 1894 and 1903, including the articles written during his polemic with Scorza in this journal. Similarly, Pareto’s contributions to general equilibrium trade theory were first developed in this journal. While Pareto’s theory of rent was first introduced in the Cours, hints to the development of that theory can be seen in the Journal, especially ‘Lasciate fare, lasciate passare’ in which Pareto reflection on Gustave de Molinari’s work, which appears to have inspired the subsequent development of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ rents. Similarly, while the Pareto distribution first appeared in a pamphlet published in Lausanne and then in the Cours, the basic ideas concerning the distribution of income were developed in the Giornale degli Economisti. In particular, a similar equation was discussed when investigating the relationship between income distribution and demand, anticipating subsequent discussion of the issue in the Cours. The work of Pareto in the Giornale degli Economisti on population economics also subsequently featured in the Cours.


General Theory of Social Equilibrium: the general theory of social equilibrium was developed in the Trattato, not in the pages of the Giornale degli Economist. Prior to the publication of the Trattato, the only contribution to the Journal which influenced the theory of social equilibrium was a tangential treatment of sociological maximization in ‘Il Massimo di utilità per una collettività in Sociologia’. Nevertheless, this article was to prove very influential in Italy, especially among public finance economists, becoming a core aspect of Paretian scientific thought. However, perhaps the critical contribution to social equilibrium in the Giornale degli Economisti was Pareto’s post-Trattato article ‘Economia sperimentale’ which clarified the influence of sociological influences on economic phenomena. The importance of this article is that it outlines the relationship between economic and sociology in mature Paretian thought.


In terms of the sociology of knowledge, it may be said that the editorial directors’ commitment to liberalism and opposition protectionism, unsustainable fiscal policies and unstable monetary policies attracted Pareto to the Giornale degli Economisti. In the period up to the publication of the Cours, Pareto’s work on scientific issues in economics was occurring at the same time as his labour intensive ‘chronicles’ prepared for this journal. Another attractive feature was the willingness of the Journal to publish new and challenging ideas, irrespective of the mode in which the exposition was developed. As Pareto came under the influence of Walras’ general equilibrium, the Giornale degli Economisti was the ideal site from which he could develop and disseminate his work in mathematical pure theory and mathematical applied theory, as well as his work on economic statistics and literary discussion of economic issues. All forms were welcome, and with Walras’ influence being felt around Italy, this was to become the leading Italian journal in mathematical economics.

The willingness of the Journal to publish economics in mathematical form was also a contributing factor to the attraction of Pareto’s peers and followers to the Journal. Barone, Boninsegni, Furlan, Sensini and Amoroso were all mathematically competent and inspired to follow Walras and Pareto, to varying degrees, in the presentation of economics and a mathematical discipline. However, as the core scientific thought of Pareto developed into its final phase, the emphasis on mathematical economics was complemented by a growing emphasis on sociological (non-mathematical) matters. As the scope of Pareto’s scientific thought broadened, so to did the work of his followers. Again, this was accommodated by the Giornale degli Economisti, which had achieved its reputation for excellence in mathematical economics while concurrently developing scientific thought in a wide range of related areas, including public finance. The Journal continued to suit the needs of Pareto and his followers as the scope of Paretian studies broadened. At this stage, the association with Pareto had served to enhance the scientific standing of the Giornale degli Economisti, not just in Italy, but in other parts of Europe too.

The fiscal scholars who followed Pareto most closely in the Giornale degli Economisti commenced their sociological studies before the publication of the Trattato. As such, there is some variation between their diverse approaches, and some dispute over the extent to which they followed Pareto. This will be developed further is subsequent chapters, but from this Journal the period of active research in the Paretian approach to fiscal sociology ended by around 1930. The active phase of Paretian research in pure and applied economics in Giornale degli Economisti continued until after World War II, but this was largely centred around the work of Sensini. Italian economics had come under the influence of a new leadership group, comprising del Vecchio, Bresciani Turroni and others, and the focus of research had moved to monetary economics and economic dynamics, with the latter issue most often having its roots in the work of Pantaleoni rather then Pareto.16

As the Paretian episode in contemporary research wound down from the 1930s, the Giornale degli Economisti shifted from being the primary disseminator of new Paretian thought, to being the primary site for historical investigation of the Paretian episode in Italy. Under the editorial direction of Giovanni Demaria, the Journal performed this role with distinction until 1975, with articles published in the Giornale degli Economisti over these years still providing considerable insight for historians of thought interested in Pareto and his Italian legacy. This journal was also the source through which Paretian thought was absorbed by contemporary economics, with D’Albergo’s thoughtful work on public finance reviving fiscal sociology briefly enough to excise some of Pareto’s sociological contributions to welfare, and import it within public economics.


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