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Antonio De Viti de Marco, political competition, and the principle of minimum means

Amedeo Fossati () and Marcello Montefiori
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Amedeo Fossati: Università di Genova

Working papers from Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica

Abstract: De Viti de Marco is generally regarded as one of the most eminent scholars of the early Italian public finance tradition. This paper presents a new interpretation of his thought with respect to the prevailing literature. In particular, an original perspective is provided for three main themes. The first is the consistency of De Viti’s theory of the state, that is presented as a coherent but naïf structure founded on the principle of minimum means and on political competition. The second suggests that his reflections on concrete problems are clearly independent from his theoretical framework, which still presents some features that may have application in modern democratic states. Finally, it is argued that, even if De Viti’s role in spreading the marginal analysis in Italy remains unquestioned, he seldom employed marginal tools in his analysis, and that he was more closely related with classical economics, rather than with the real approach of marginal analysis.

Keywords: Italian tradition in public finance; De Viti de Marco; economic theory of state intervention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B13 B2 B31 B41 H1 H2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
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