Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Some reflections on distributive fairness in Italian economic thought between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Patalano Rosario, University on Naples “Federico II”:
Pomella Andrea, Second University of Naples Luigi Vanvitelli

In the thought of Antonio Genovesi justice is declined in terms of commutative and distributive fairness, where the former is based on the principle of "arithmetic" equality, while the latter follows the logic of "geometric" equality. Since the purpose of the sovereign was, he said, to guarantee public happiness by eliminating the uncertainties regarding the conditions of life of their citizens, assuring them the necessary for the satisfaction of their present and future needs, distributive fairness takes on a central role for the realization of an economic system based on the principles of the civil economy. In fact, unlike commutative, this presupposes the weighting of different human needs based on various factors such as merit, esteem and value. Moving from these considerations, the article aims to study the theoretical developments of distributive fairness in Italy between the nineteenth and twentieth century.

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Keywords: Distributive fairness, public happiness, Antonio Genovesi

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