Enrico Barone's 'Ministry of Production': Content and Context

49 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2011

See all articles by Michael E. Bradley

Michael E. Bradley

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Manuela Mosca

Università del Salento (Lecce) - Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Economia

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

Enrico Barone’s famous article on economic planning, "Il Ministro della Produzione nello Stato Collettivista" ("The Ministry of Production in the Collectivist State"), which showed the theoretical possibility of an economically efficient collectivist planned economy, was published in Giornale degli Economisti in 1908. Barone’s article has been widely cited, particularly in the comparative economic systems literature, but it has not been very widely read or analyzed in recent years, and there is not much literature that places Barone’s "Ministry" model in the context of his other works or in its historical, social, or ideological context. The aims of this paper are: a) to analyze Barone’s model in depth and to clarify a text which is often obscure; b) to interpret the most problematic passages using Barone’s other writings, and the later literature on the subject; and c) to examine the apparent contradiction between Barone’s hostility to socialism and his attempt to formulate the pure theory of the collectivist economy.

Keywords: history of economics, socialist calculation, collectivism, marginalism, Italian economic thought

JEL Classification: B13, B14, B31

Suggested Citation

Bradley, Michael E. and Mosca, Manuela, Enrico Barone's 'Ministry of Production': Content and Context (December 1, 2010). Universita di Lecce, Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Vol. 144, No. 51. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734325 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1734325

Michael E. Bradley

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
United States

Manuela Mosca (Contact Author)

Università del Salento (Lecce) - Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Economia ( email )

Lecce 73100
Italy

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