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Contemporary of every age: Gaetano Filangieri between public happiness and institutional economics


  • Balzano, Maria Silvia
  • Vecchione, Gaetano
  • Zamagni, Vera


In the decades around the turn of the eighteenth century, Naples was capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and Europe’s third most populous city. From the early decades of the eighteenth to the end of the nineteenth century, the city spawned a school of intellectuals that, though predominantly juridical in cast, nevertheless displayed a surprisingly substantial openness to a new approach to the social sciences, which had developed above all in France, heavily influenced by the natural sciences and the experimental method. In harmony with Enlightenment thought, Gaetano Filangieri was the precursor, two centuries back, of the principles of indissoluble interaction between formal and informal institutions and economic development, between governance and social feedback, that are pillars of today’s school of institutional economics. His writings anticipated, in a number of respects, conceptual approaches adopted by later scholars. The present paper offers an institutional focus on his work, referring above all to Douglass North and his treatment of the role of the Glorious Revolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Balzano, Maria Silvia & Vecchione, Gaetano & Zamagni, Vera, 2018. "Contemporary of every age: Gaetano Filangieri between public happiness and institutional economics," MPRA Paper 84538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:84538

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon, Fabrizio, 2011. "An Economic Approach To The Study Of Law In The Eighteenth Century: Gaetano Filangieri And La Scienza Della Legislazione," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 223-248, June.
    2. Timur Kuran, 2011. "The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9273, March.
    3. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
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    More about this item


    Gaetano Filangieri; Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; Institutional economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals

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