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Luxury and Public HappinessPolitical Economy in the Italian Enlightenment$
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Till Wahnbaeck

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269839

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269839.001.0001

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The Shaping of Political Economy in the Milanese Enlightenment

The Shaping of Political Economy in the Milanese Enlightenment

(p.175) 9 The Shaping of Political Economy in the Milanese Enlightenment
Luxury and Public Happiness


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the influence of Pietro Verri on the economic debate in Lombardy. It also investigates how Verri formulated his economic thoughts. It explains that the key engine and fuel to drive economic development was conspicuous consumption. It discusses how and why Verri abandoned the concept of luxury as the cornerstone of economic development. It notes the new theories of economic development introduced by both Verri and Beccaria into Italian discussion — the concept of savings, productive investment, the pivotal role of the cost of money, capitalist agriculture, and the division of labour in a demand-driven economy. It explains that Verri and Beccaria also helped develop a language in which these mechanisms were to be expressed — the new language of economic reason.

Keywords:   Pietro Verri, Lombardy, Cesare Beccaria, savings, productive investment, cost of money, capitalist agriculture, division of labour

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