Wednesday , June 19 2024
Home / Naked Keynesianism / Luigi Pasinetti (1930-2023)

Luigi Pasinetti (1930-2023)

Summary:
Pasinetti, Garegnani and the president of Italy in 2010Last week, in my senior seminar on the history of economic thought, I made the kids read a paper by Pasinetti on "Progress in Economic Science", which was published in a book edited by Boehm, Gehrke, Kurz and Sturn. It's a short defense of pluralism in economics on the basis of the co-existence of Kuhnian paradigms, with a relatively optimistic view of the possibility of progress, in a discipline in which, as he noted, the object of analysis is changing continually, the ideas of the researchers might affect the functioning of the object of study, and value judgments cannot be avoided, in part because they affect everyday material conditions. As he said: "It is enough to think of the devaluation of a currency, or of the movements of

Topics:
Matias Vernengo considers the following as important: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Matias Vernengo writes Was Keynes a Liberal or a Socialist?

Matias Vernengo writes New directions in the Sraffian approach

Matias Vernengo writes Special Issue of the Review of Keynesian Economics

Angry Bear writes Trump’s Attempt At A Coup

Luigi Pasinetti (1930-2023)
Pasinetti, Garegnani and the president of Italy in 2010

Last week, in my senior seminar on the history of economic thought, I made the kids read a paper by Pasinetti on "Progress in Economic Science", which was published in a book edited by Boehm, Gehrke, Kurz and Sturn. It's a short defense of pluralism in economics on the basis of the co-existence of Kuhnian paradigms, with a relatively optimistic view of the possibility of progress, in a discipline in which, as he noted, the object of analysis is changing continually, the ideas of the researchers might affect the functioning of the object of study, and value judgments cannot be avoided, in part because they affect everyday material conditions. As he said: "It is enough to think of the devaluation of a currency, or of the movements of wages and salaries, to realize how deeply these phenomena affect everybody’s pocket."

Sadly Pasinetti has died yesterday. He was perhaps the last great name of the Anglo-Italian Cambridge School, that tried to put the works of the classical authors and Marx and the Keynesian Revolution together, and intimately associated with the work of Piero Sraffa. I remember reading a paper on how the school could be divided in a more Marxian strand (with Pierangelo Garegnani as the main author) and a Ricardian one, around Pasinetti. This also had political implications with Pasinetti representing the center right Christian Democrats, and Garegnani on the left, linked to the Communist Party. I once told that to Garegnani, who dismissed the idea of Sraffian schools.*

Pasinetti will be remembered for his work on the Cambridge distribution models, the famous Kaldor-Pasinetti model, the participation in the capital debates, and his work on a classical model of structural growth. Personally, his book on the theory of production (Lectures on the Theory of Production) and his discussion and critique of the Maastricht fiscal limits remain the two of his contributions that influenced me the most.

I should note that this comes after a series of deaths in the profession that have significantly affected the heterodox community, and me personally. Vicky Chick, with whom I was supposed to work for my PhD, and Jim Crotty, two of the more creative thinkers within Post Keynesian economics have passed. Also, on a personal note, Nilüfer Çagatay, my colleague in Utah, and Barkley Rosser, the co-editor of the New Palgrave passed away this month. The heterodox community is in mourning.

* The other would be the Smithian one, with Sylos-Labini as the main leader, and a Socialist bent in politics.

Matias Vernengo
Econ Prof at @BucknellU Co-editor of ROKE & Co-Editor in Chief of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *