Enrico Barone's 'Ministry of Production': Content and Context
Michael E. Bradley and
Manuela Mosca ()
The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2014, vol. 21, issue 4, 664-698
Enrico Barone's famous article on economic planning, 'Il Ministro della Produzione nello Stato Collettivista' ('The Ministry of Production in the Collectivist State'), which showed the theoretical possibility of an economically efficient collectivist planned economy, was published in Giornale degli Economisti in 1908. Barone's article has been widely cited, particularly in the comparative economic systems literature, but it has not been very widely read or analysed in recent years, and there is not much literature that places Barone's 'Ministry' model in the context of his other works or in its historical, social, or ideological context. The aims of this article are: (a) to analyse and clarify Barone's model in depth; (b) to place it in the context of Barone's other writings and the literature on the subject; and (c) to examine the apparent contradiction between Barone's hostility to socialism and his attempt to formulate the pure theory of the collectivist economy.
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