Various Schools - Italy Economic History

Various Schools, Italy Economics

Following the classification adopted in discussing the German schools of economic thought, one finds that all the groups are similarly manifested among the Italian economists active between 1870 and World War I. Two notable exceptions, however, are to be found: The protectionist policy had little or no hearing among Italian economists, and the more radical doctrines of Socialism had almost as little of a following down to about 1921, Labriola representing Marxism, and Leone adhering to syndicalism. More recently, A. Graziadei represented Marxian thought.
A number of the Italians mentioned may be classed as being on the whole adherents to the English Classical School, among these being Boccardo, L. Cossa, and Nazzani. Zuccarini appears to adhere to the Classical tradition. Pantaleoni was Neo-Clas-sical and mathematical, and much the same may be said of Valenti: On the whole, the following may be classed as Neoclassical (and Liberal, in the older sense): L. Einaudi, P. Jan-naccone, A. Cobiati (d.), and G. Del Vecchio.
More akin to the German "Manchester School" are the laisser-faire individualists, Martello, Berardi, and Bertolini, whose ideas have been represented in L'economista. Their thought is optimistic and stands for free trade.


Within the historical group, several sub-groups may be dis tinguished. Some are barely touched with the historical spirit, such as Nazzani, Alessio, Ricca-Salerno, and perhaps Lam-pertico. Others resemble the older Historical School — and even Roscher, the least radical of them — among these being L. Cossa, E. Cossa, and Gobbi. Cusumano goes further than Cossa in emphasis of historical relativity. Finally, come a few representatives of the extreme type of the younger Historical School, these being represented by such earlier economists as Schiattarella and Cognetti (1844-1891).

It must be noted that most of these men stood for a degree of eclecticism not associated with the most typical members of the German school, and that they held fast to a larger part of the Classical English economics.

Closely connected with the Historical School is a group of sociological economists, several of whom have been much influenced by Spencer: Schiattarella, Boccardo (1829-1904), Cognetti, and Rabbeno. Rabbeno (d. 1897) in his thought shows a concrete, practical turn of mind, an inductive method, and sociological tendencies. His chief works (1883-1892) deal with labor, cooperation, and American protectionism.

Perhaps this is the place to refer to Benedetto Croce, the philosopher-sociologist, whose attacks on Marxian materialism and criticism of objective mathematical methods have had much influence.