From Free-Trade Propaganda to the Theory of International Trade

  • Fiorenzo MornatiEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


In the period under examination, Pareto returned to the themes relating to international trade (in this regard, see Mornati (Vilfredo Pareto: An intellectual biography. Volume I. From Science to Liberty (1848–1891). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)) which he had earlier broached during his period of amateur journalism, in order to develop their theoretical aspects, and specifically to consolidate them within the framework of general economic equilibrium and the economics of well-being (for an earlier study of this issue, Maneschi (Journal of the History of Economic Thought XV-2: 210–228, 1993)).

Thus, after describing the free-trade principles to which Pareto had subscribed over the preceding 20 years (Sect. 6.1), we will delineate the arguments, made from a free-trade perspective yet analytical in character, which he advanced against the protectionist-oriented reasoning of Cournot and of Auspitz and Lieben (Sect. 6.2), before characterising in more detail Pareto’s first extended contribution to the theory of international trade (Sects. 6.3 and 6.4). Lastly, we will re-examine a number of other instances of the empirical analysis he applied concerning the consequences of customs protection (Sect. 6.5).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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