A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics
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A Handbook of Alternative Monetary Economics

Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer

This major Handbook consists of 29 contributions that explore the full range of exciting and interesting work on money and finance currently taking place within heterodox economics. There are many themes and facets of alternative monetary and financial economics but two major ones can be identified.
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Chapter 7: The Italian Circuitist Approach

Riccardo Realfonzo


Riccardo Realfonzo 1. Introduction The Italian circuitist approach (hereafter: ICA) is part of the broad and heterogeneous course of heterodox economics literature. It is an approach linked with Augusto Graziani’s work on the subject since the early 1980s, and with publications by the authors who have developed his analysis in various directions (Riccardo Bellofiore, Marcello Messori, Riccardo Realfonzo; but also Biagio Bossone, Emiliano Brancaccio, Giuseppe Fontana, Guglielmo Forges Davanzati, Alberto Zazzaro and others). It is not only in Italy that circuit theory is widespread. In fact, during the second half of the 1900s a growing number of increasingly systematic studies were devoted to it by scholars from France (Alain Parguez, Bernard Schmitt, François Poulon; but also Claude Gnos, Elie Sadigh), Canada (Marc Lavoie, Mario Seccareccia, Louis-Philippe Rochon), Britain (Wynne Godley, Francis Cripps) and Switzerland (Alvaro Cencini, Sergio Rossi). The growing interest aroused by the ICA, and in general by monetary circuit theory, is witnessed by countless conferences and seminars exploring the possible avenues of comparison with the other heterodox approaches, mainly post-Keynesian and Sraffian (see Deleplace and Nell, 1996 and Fontana and Realfonzo, 2005; but also Rochon and Rossi, 2003 and Brancaccio, 2005). In this chapter I will try to provide a simplified exposition of the contributions by the Italian school of the monetary circuit and an overall interpretation. 2. Main ‘sources’ and arguments of the ICA The ICA has drawn sustenance from some great works from the history of economic thought, belonging to traditions which...

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