Statisticians and Economists and the ‘new economic order’ in Wartime Italy (1940-1943)

From 1940 to 1943, Italian economists and statisticians were actively engaged in discussions that ranged from immediate concerns about war economy to more speculative issues that can be summarized under the then-fashionable label of the ‘new economic order’. The purpose of this article is to offer an overview of these debates by focusing, on the one hand, on the related themes of autarky, the new ‘Mediterranean order’ and postwar supranational economic complexes, and, on the other hand, on those of corporatism and economic planning. Both the idea of an economic plan and that of an organized division of labor among countries within a politically defined large economic space clashed directly with views associated with the tenets of economic liberalism, also dear to many Italian economists. On each theme, positions taken may be connected to expectations regarding the postwar world. Special attention will be given to various statistical devices and arguments put forward by protagonists to sustain their views or implement their projects.

This content has been updated on 12 July 2019 at 12 h 43 min.