Political Realism and Models of the State Antonio De Viti De Marco and the Origins of Public Choice

POLIS Working Papers No. 232, ISSN: 2038-7296

35 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2016

See all articles by Michele G Giuranno

Michele G Giuranno

Independent

Manuela Mosca

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

Date Written: December 30, 2015

Abstract

It is well known that one of the features of Public Choice, political realism, in Italy is embedded in a time-honored tradition going back to Machiavelli, and perpetuated by G. Mosca and Pareto in their political and sociological writings. The scientific spirit, which in their era led to the foundation of various social disciplines, fostered the application of economic analysis to the political sphere. In this context the initiator of the pure theory of public finance, Antonio de Viti de Marco (1858-1943), formulated an economic model of the state, consisting of two types of constitutional extremes: the absolute state, and the democratic state. In this work, we ask how this model may be reconciled to G. Mosca and Pareto’s theory of the ruling class, which De Viti de Marco agreed with. Finally, we analyze the validity of this theoretical construction for the interpretation of collusion, rent seeking and “clientelism”, i.e. the redistribution of extracted rent, which takes place in the form of discretionary allocation of public jobs, public contracts and other corporative favors. What emerges provides reasons to reflect upon for further developments in Public Choice.

Keywords: Democracy; collusion; rent seeking; clientelism; marginalism

JEL Classification: B100; B130; D720; D780; H110; H790

Suggested Citation

Giuranno, Michele G and Mosca, Manuela, Political Realism and Models of the State Antonio De Viti De Marco and the Origins of Public Choice (December 30, 2015). POLIS Working Papers No. 232, ISSN: 2038-7296 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714759 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2714759

Michele G Giuranno

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Manuela Mosca (Contact Author)

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

Lecce 73100
Italy

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