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Federico Caffè and institutional economics


  • Michele Cangiani

    () (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia - Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni culturali)

  • Pietro Frigato

    () (Ph.D. Università di Pisa)


Federico Caffè shows an unremitting interest in institutional economics. This article traces the source of this attitude to his affinity with ‘mainstream’ institutionalists. Like them, Caffè is aware of the historical-institutional nature and the open-system character of the economic process, and is convinced of the need for an extensive public guidance of the economy in order to promote social welfare. With regard to the latter, Caffè looks upon the Pigouvian, Keynesian and mainstream institutional traditions as compatible research programs. Then, Caffè’s theoretical and political approach can be better understood as institutional; conversely, it helps us to define the nature and significance of institutionalism as an alternative to conventional economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Cangiani & Pietro Frigato, 2012. "Federico Caffè and institutional economics," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 20(1), pages 132-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:20:y:2012:1:9:p:132-156

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