Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 57: Enrico Barone (1859–1924)
Born in Naples, Enrico Barone was educated in military schools in Naples and Turin, receiving the mix of technical and humanist education typical of those institutions. From 1880 on he climbed the ranks of a regular military career in the army up to general staff colonel, but he suddenly resigned in 1906 – apparently after a clash with his superiors on matters of national defence. Economics was only one of the many interests of this renowned teacher and prolific writer in strategic and historical matters. Yet while still in the army, in the early 1890s, he managed to establish himself as one of the leading Italian economists, although not in an academic position until 1910 when he became full Professor of Political Economy at the University of Rome. He contributed to the literature on mathematical marginalism on a par with Walras, Pareto, Wicksell and other eminent economists of the age. As with Pareto, Pantaleoni acted as mentor in directing Barone’s considerable talent towards pure theory. The range of his interests was much wider than that, however. His economic writings – most of which are collected in Barone (1894–1924 [1936–37]) – are concentrated in two periods, 1894–96 and 1906–24, and apart from mathematical economics they cover a variety of topics such as public finance, colonial, transport and war economics, industrial syndicates, and tariffs. Many other interests – journalism, politics and public debate, even film making – competed with economics for his attention. Einaudi, a good friend of his, remarked that “had he...
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