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Prezzi politici e ostacoli istituzionali in Maffeo Pantaleoni

Bellanca, Nicolo' (2024): Prezzi politici e ostacoli istituzionali in Maffeo Pantaleoni.

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Maffeo Pantaleoni’s concepts of “political prices” and “economic prices” explore institutional change and the dynamics of rent-seeking society. He distinguishes between “objective” discriminations, which conform to the reproductive logic of an institution, and those that are entirely arbitrary. Additionally, he distinguishes between criteria of impartiality, which treat everyone the same way, and criteria of universalizability, which apply a rule regardless of whom it may benefit or harm. Through these concepts, he defines “economic prices” as characterized by proscriptive rules, which prohibit certain choices, rather than prescriptive rules, which allow certain options for some and not for others. They cannot eliminate privileges, but they eliminate privileged access to privileges. Their antithesis is “political prices,” which emerge when groups compete with each other to grab rents and maintain privileges. The more the system of political prices generalizes across all institutions (private, public, commercial) of society, the less it is able to sustain itself, as every group desires to benefit from it, but no one wants to finance it. Here lies the historical resilience of economic prices.

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