AUGUSTO GRAZIANI, one of Italy’s most renowned economists in the latter half of the 20th century, was a scholar of economic theory and policy who for five decades was committed to furthering debate over the country’s economic and financial situation through keen analysis and insightful ideas. During the most significant stages of his career, the economy of Southern Italy was his constant focal point.
Graziani took no theory as the absolute truth and never ceased to be a dissenting economist, critical of how most academics approached their work by following the canons of conventional theory. This heterodoxy made him a truly original thinker. His vision developed within the neoclassical orthodoxy, but was broadly tempered by Keynesian economics. The originality of his work lies in his insistence on examining reality without trying to force it into abstract schema, which may be suggestive but lack real-world perspective.
Graziani’s writings were published in books and journals both in Italy and abroad. During his lifetime, three volumes of essays were published in his honor: R. Arena, N. Salvadori (eds.), Money, Credit and the Role of the State. Essays in Honour of Augusto Graziani, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2004; G. Fontana, R. Realfonzo (eds.), The Monetary Theory of Production. Tradition and Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2005; and M. Messori, D.P. Silipo (eds.), Il modello di sviluppo dell’economia italiana quarant’anni dopo. Scritti in onore di Augusto Graziani, Egea, Milan, 2012. R. Bellofiore’s tribute article “A Heterodox Structural Keynesian: Honouring Augusto Graziani” was published in the Review of Keynesian Economics (vol. 1, issue 4, 2013, pp. 425-430).
After Graziani’s death, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, in a joint initiative with the journal Studi Economici of the University of Naples Federico II, hosted a conference on his work on December 3, 2014 and presented a bibliography of his writings (see “Atti dei Convegni Lincei 216,” L’opera scientifica di Augusto Graziani, Bardi Edizioni, Rome, 2016). The articles submitted to the conference were published in English in Studi Economici, year LXIX, no. 112, 2014 (“The Scientific Work of Augusto Graziani”). To mark the 70th anniversary of the Associazione per lo Sviluppo Industriale del Mezzogiorno (Svimez), a collection of essays with their bibliography was published as A. Graziani, Mercato, struttura, conflitto. Scritti su economia italiana e Mezzogiorno, selected by A. Giannola, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2020. Antonio Pedone wrote a detailed review of this volume for Rivista Economica del Mezzogiorno (year XXXIV, no. 3, 2020, pp. 591-602).