Luigi L. Pasinetti (1930–)

  • Mauro Baranzini
  • Pier Luigi Porta


Luigi Pasinetti is the senior living heir of the Cambridge Post-Keynesian School of Economics and critic of traditional marginal economics. He stirred two major debates of the 1960s and 1970s. One concerns the macro distribution of income and the determination of the rate of profits of a growing system. This led to the formulation of the famous ‘Pasinetti Theorem’. The second concerns the capital theory controversy and reswitching of techniques. Pasinetti was the first to disprove the Levhari–Samuelson non-switching theorem. But he is also a system-builder: he has pursued a lifelong investigation into the dynamics of industrial societies with non-proportional growth and structural change by elaborating new analytical tools such as vertically integrated sector analysis, an alternative to input–output analysis. His ‘Separation Theorem’ refers to the separation of basic relations typical of modern societies from relations specific to particular institutions.


Cambridge equation Capital theory controversy Distribution of income Input-output analysis Levhari–Samuelson theorem Marginal economics Non-proportional growth Non-switching theorem Pasinetti theorem or paradox Post-Keynesian economics Rate of profits Reswitching of techniques Separation theorem Structural change Structural economic dynamics Vertically integrated sectors Vertical integration 


Cited Works by Luigi Pasinetti

  1. Pasinetti, L.L. (1959). ‘On Concepts and Measures of Changes in Productivity’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 41(3): 270–282.Google Scholar
  2. Pasinetti, L.L. (1960). ‘A Mathematical Formulation of the Ricardian System’. Review of Economic Studies, 27(2): 78–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pasinetti, L.L. (1962). ‘Rate of Profit and Income Distribution in Relation to the Rate of Economic Growth’. Review of Economic Studies, 29(4): 267–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Pasinetti, L.L. (1965). ‘A New Theoretical Approach to the Problems of Economic Growth’. Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum Scripta Varia, 28: 572–696.Google Scholar
  5. Pasinetti, L.L. (1966). ‘Changes in the Rate of Profit and Switches of Techniques’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 80(4): 503–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pasinetti, L.L. (1969). ‘Switches of Technique and the “Rate of Return” in Capital Theory’. Economic Journal, 79(315): 508–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pasinetti, L.L. (1973). ‘The Notion of Vertical Integration in Economic Analysis’. Metroeconomica, 25(1): 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pasinetti, L.L. (1974). Growth and Income Distribution: Essays in Economic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Pasinetti, L.L. (1981). Structural Change and Economic Growth: A Theoretical Essay on the Dynamics of the Wealth of Nations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Pasinetti, L.L. (1986). ‘Theory of Value – A Source of Alternative Paradigms in Economic Analysis’. Chapter 14 in M. Baranzini and R. Scazzieri (eds) Foundations of Economics. Oxford: Blackwell: 409–431.Google Scholar
  11. Pasinetti, L.L. (1988). ‘Growing Subsystems, Vertically Hyper-Integrated Sectors and the Labour Theory of Value’. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 12(1): 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pasinetti, L.L. (1993). Structural Economic Dynamics: A Theory of the Economic Consequences of Human Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pasinetti, L.L. (2003). ‘Comment’. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(4): 227–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pasinetti, L.L. (2007). Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians: A ‘Revolution in Economics’ to be Accomplished. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Pasinetti, L.L. (2012). ‘A Few Counter-Factual Hypotheses on the Current Economic Crisis’. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36(6): 1,433–1,453.Google Scholar
  16. Pasinetti, L.L. and R. Scazzieri (1987). ‘Capital Theory: Paradoxes’. In J. Eatwell, M. Milgate and P. Newman (eds) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Volume 1. London: Macmillan: 363–368.Google Scholar

Selected Works on Luigi Pasinetti

  1. Baranzini, M. and G.C. Harcourt (eds) (1993). The Dynamics of the Wealth of Nations: Growth, Distribution and Structural Change: Essays in Honour of Luigi L. Pasinetti. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Porta, P.L. and R. Scazzieri (2008). ‘A Revolution to be Accomplished: Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians’. Economia Politica, 25(3): 455–480.Google Scholar
  3. Scazzieri, R. (1996). ‘Introduction to Pasinetti’s Structural Economic Dynamics: A Symposium’. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 7(2): 123–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Teixeira, J.R. (1998). ‘Luigi L. Pasinetti’. Chapter 13 in F. Meacci (ed.) Italian Economists of the 20th Century. Cheltenham, UK: Elgar: 272–294.Google Scholar

Other Works Referred To

  1. Arena, R. and P.L. Porta (2012). ‘Introduction: Structural Dynamics and Contemporary Growth Theory’. Chapter 1 in R. Arena and P.L. Porta (eds) Structural Dynamics and Economic Growth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1–33.Google Scholar
  2. Baddeley, M. and R. Scazzieri (2012). Call for Papers for The Economics of Structural Change: Theory, Institutions and Policies. A Conference in Honour of Luigi. L. Pasinetti. At Gonville and Caius, Cambridge University, 12–13 September 2012. Available at:
  3. Baranzini, M. (1991). A Theory of Wealth Distribution and Accumulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Baranzini, M. and A. Mirante (2013). ‘The Cambridge Post-Keynesian School of Income and Wealth Distribution’. Chapter 14 in G.C. Harcourt and P. Kriesler (eds) Post-Keynesian Handbook. Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 288–361.Google Scholar
  5. Baranzini, M. and R. Scazzieri (eds) (1990). The Economic Theory of Structure and Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Fisher, F. (1971). ‘Aggregate Production Functions and the Explanation of Wages: A Simulation Experiment’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 53(4): 305–325.Google Scholar
  7. Kaldor, N. (1956). ‘Alternative Theories of Distribution’. Review of Economic Studies, 23(2): 83–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Levhari, D. (1965) ‘A Nonsubstitution Theorem and Switching of Techniques’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 79(1): 98–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Porta, P.L. (1998). ‘Structural Analysis in Retrospect. A Note on Luigi Pasinetti’s Structural Economic Dynamics’. Storia del Pensiero Economico, 35: 43–60.Google Scholar
  10. Porta, P.L. (2007). ‘Pasinetti, Luigi’. In The International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. Second edition. New York: Macmillan: 163–164.Google Scholar
  11. Porta, P.L. (2012a). ‘Piero Sraffa’s Early Views on Classical Political Economy’. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36(6): 1,357–1,383.Google Scholar
  12. Porta, P.L. (2012b). ‘Highlights on the Cambridge School: the Italian Connection’. Chapter 9 in H.M. Krämer, H.D. Kurz and H.-M. Trautwein (eds) Macroeconomics and the History of Economic Thought. London: Routledge: 145–157.Google Scholar
  13. Ricardo, D. (1955). The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo. Volume X. Biographical Miscellany. Edited by P. Sraffa with the collaboration of M.H. Dobb. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Solow, R.M. (1957). ‘Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 39(3): 312–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Solow, R.M. (1959). ‘Comment’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 41(3): 282–285.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of EconomicsUniversity of LuganoLuganoSwitzerland
  2. 2.Formerly Professor of EconomicsUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilano-BicoccaItaly

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