Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann
Chapter 93: Keynesianism in Italy
The aim of this chapter is to analyse the circulation of J.M. Keynes’s General Theory in Italy from 1936 to the end of the 1980s. This span is divided into five sub-periods to distinguish as many responses to Keynes’s major work, which was criticized, admired, and utilized by Italian economists and politicians alike. The reception of Keynes in Italy can be seen as a parabola. After an initial period characterized by highly conflicting assessments, peaks of recognition came in the 1960s and 1970s. Decline began in the 1980s, when his name was (unjustly) associated with the growing public finance deficit. Following this progression of concurring and contrasting views – as in a hall of mirrors – we traverse the various stages of Italy’s history from the 1930s onward, observing the succession of political regimes, the evolution of economic thought and the changes in economic policy.
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