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A Liberal Economist and Economic Policy Reform in Nineteenth-Century Greece: The Case of Ioannes Soutsos


  • Michalis M. Psalidopoulos
  • Yorgos Stassinopoulos


This paper analyses the critique of Ioannes Soutsos (1804–1890), the first academic economist of modern Greece, toward priorities, weaknesses and shortcomings of Greek economic policy of the 19th century. Emphasis is laid in his interventions in 1843 (when the first constitution was introduced), in 1863 (when a new king was appointed as head of the country) and in 1876-9 (when foreign lending was resumed after a long financial embargo against Greece). These interventions reveal a liberal economist who was a precursor in what is today known as constitutional economics, who stressed the role of efficient institutions for the promotion of economic development and favored sound public finance as a basis for a strong currency and a prerequisite of growth. The paper puts Soutsos' economic policy recommendations against his theoretical formation as an economist, and examines his views on methodology and the influences Pellegino Rossi and Jean-Baptiste Say exerted in his thought and writings. In this context European economic liberalism of the 19th century is revisited and the question about its relevance for the new-born states of South-Eastern Europe, where nationalism was a major ideological current, requiring a financially strong state, is examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Michalis M. Psalidopoulos & Yorgos Stassinopoulos, 2009. "A Liberal Economist and Economic Policy Reform in Nineteenth-Century Greece: The Case of Ioannes Soutsos," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 491-517, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:41:y:2009:i:3:p:491-517

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rod O'Donnell, 1992. "The Unwritten Books and Papers of J. M. Keynes," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 767-817, Winter.
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    3. Laidler,David, 1999. "Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521641739, March.
    4. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    6. Robert Dimand, 1988. "The Origins of the Keynesian Revolution," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 139.
    7. Fitzgibbons, Athol, 1988. "Keynes's Vision: A New Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286417, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michalis M. Psalidopoulos & Nicholas J. Theocarakis, 2011. "The Dissemination of Economic Thought in South-Eastern Europe in the Nineteenth Century," Chapters,in: The Dissemination of Economic Ideas, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.


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