Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

The role of public confidence in the European Union economic affairs. Some considerations on the scheme of Civil Economy in contrast to Neoclassical Political Economy and Social Market Economy.

Mascolo Rita , LUISS Guido Carli University – Rome
Tortorella Guido, University of Sannio – Benevento and LUISS Guido Carli University – Rome

In the middle of the eighteenth Century there was a return of interest for the studies which deal with the binomial economy-human happiness, where the pursuit of human happiness can only be achieved by directing the human being to the common good. Civil economy, born with the scope of contributing to the debate on public happiness, is normally defined as a cultural perspective of interpretation of the economic market theory, based on the principles of reciprocity and fraternity, as an alternative to the capitalist one. The basic idea of these scholars was the need to introduce into the economic sphere a new anthropology and ethics, characterized by the idea of a society able to promote a "good common life", complementary and functional to the realization of individual happiness. Antonio Genovesi, the maximum exponent of the Neapolitan school of civil economy, in particular, moving from the idea that economy is one of the expressions of civil life, just like commercial activity, claimed that civil life and commercial activity were inextricably linked, and market is therefore a constituent element of socialization and civilization of human beings. To fulfil this role, however, market necessary needs rules and criteria, among which, public confidence plays a very important role for the establishment of any economic activity and its subsequent developments. As Genovesi writes, in fact, public confidence represents the primary resource of economic development, although it is immaterial and not measurable. Starting from these premises, in this work we want to study the theory of public confidence by Genovesi, to bring out the voice of those scholars who support the paradigm of the civil economy in contrast with that of political economy and that of social market economy, underlining the importance of the so called “homo reciprocans” in a market economy aimed at the realization of good civil life.


Keywords: Antonio Genovesi, public confidence, civil life, economic growth

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