Banks, firms and economic culture: Economists and research centres in Interwar Italy

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Abstract

In the interwar years, Italy experimented a strong growth of applied economic research. The foundation of research centers can be read and placed in a much wider international trend that emerged during the Great War. In this essay, we offer a map of the most important research centers, exploring the extensive web of relationships between the academia and the productive world. We then focus on a set of case studies, selected for their relevance. Section 2 is devoted to the banking sector, with reference to four important cases (Banca Commerciale Italiana, Banca d’Italia, Associazione Bancaria Italiana and Banco di Sicilia); section 3 to the industrial sector (IRI, Finsider, Ansaldo, Edison, Montecatini and Fiat).Our intent is, first, to understand what role economists played in the establishment and growth of these research centers. A second objective is to show what functions research centers performed in relation to their general strategies and operative tasks. A third is to reconstruct their main achievements in the rise of economic culture and in the shaping of technical innovations and institutional reforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn Institutional History of Italian Economics in the Interwar Period
Pages179-209
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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