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Catholic perspectives on poverty and misery : from nineteenth century French catholic social economists to the contribution of jesuits


  • Stefano Solari


The first generation of Catholic social economists, which also included some moral philosophers, put forward a coherent view of economic problems, according to natural law and to the Gospel of the Catholic Church. They studied the causes of the increasingly unequal distribution of income in the processes of industrialisation and identified the need for regulatory institutions to limit the misery of the working class. They considered charity and personal relationships as the main remedy to the problem of misery, but they became progressively open to state intervention to insure a more coherent regulation of the bodies responsible for organising redistribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Solari, 2010. "Catholic perspectives on poverty and misery : from nineteenth century French catholic social economists to the contribution of jesuits," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 59, pages 185-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2010:i:59:p:185-203

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    poverty; misery; Pauperism; social question; natural law; social Catholicism; paternalism;

    JEL classification:

    • B19 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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