Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Contemporary of every age: Gaetano Filangieri between public happiness and institutional economics

Balzano, Maria Silvia and Vecchione, Gaetano and Zamagni, Vera (2018): Contemporary of every age: Gaetano Filangieri between public happiness and institutional economics. Forthcoming in:

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Abstract

In the decades around the turn of the eighteenth century, Naples was capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and Europe’s third most populous city. From the early decades of the eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth century, the city spawned a school of intellectuals that, though predominantly juridical in cast, nevertheless displayed a surprisingly substantial openness to a new approach to the social sciences, which had developed above all in France, heavily influenced by the natural sciences and the experimental method. In harmony with Enlightenment thought, Gaetano Filangieri was the precursor, two centuries back, of the principles of indissoluble interaction between formal and informal institutions and economic development, between governance and social feedback, that are pillars of today’s school of institutional economics. His writings anticipated, in a number of respects, conceptual approaches adopted by later scholars. The present paper offers an institutional focus on his work, referring above all to Douglass North and his treatment of the role of the Glorious Revolution.

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