The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Genovesi, Antonio (1712–1769)

  • Angelo Bertolini
Reference work entry


Genovesi was born near Salerno and died at Naples: he took holy orders in 1736. In 1741 he taught metaphysics at the University of Naples. He was intimately acquainted with Bartolomeo Intieri, who induced him to follow Broggia and Galiani in the study of economics; and when, in 1754, by the advice of Intieri and with funds’ liberally supplied by him, the teaching of economics, then termed mechanics and commerce, was established at Naples, Genovesi was called to the chair. He was ‘the most distinguished and the most moderate of all Italian mercantilists. … Commerce was for him not an end only, but also a means by which the products of industry at large were brought to the right market. He, moreover, distinguished between useful commerce which exported manufactured goods and brought back in return raw material, and harmful commerce which exported raw material and imported foreign goods; he also insisted that useful commerce calls rather for liberty than for protection, while upon harmful commerce the strictest embargo should be laid, or at least it should as far as possible be bound hand and foor’ (Cossa, Introduction to Political Economy, translation, p. 235).


Genovesi, A. Mercantilism Population growth Scarcity Socialists of the chair Value Wealth 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelo Bertolini
    • 1
  1. 1.