Bresciani Turroni Costantino

                                                                                                Italian Statisticians                                            

Costantino Bresciani Turroni

Born26th of February, 1882, Verona, Italy
Died1963, Milan, Italy
Residence, Nationality
Researche Interest
Economics and Statistics
EducationDegree in law, Padua, with a dissertation on Monetary circulation and economic development.
Accademic Positions
Professor of Statistics at Universities of Padua, Milan (1909), Palermo (1909-1919), Genova (1919-1925). Professor of Political Economy  at Bologna University (1925), Milan and The Cairo University (1927) .
Honours, Awards
Honorary member of American Economic Association, member of the Institut de France.
Know For
Pareto laws, Economic Indices

Was the last internationally known representative of Italy’s classical school of economics, which flourished in the early part of the century and continued to exert its influence between the world wars. Although he adhered to classical theories, his methodological innovations departed markedly from the traditions of the classical school.Bresciani-Turroni was born in Verona. After completing humanistic studies in high school, he attended the law school at the University of Verona, specializing in statistics and economics. He soon became a professor, teaching first statistics and then economics in various Italian universities.Between 1905 and 1907, Bresciani-Turroni published essays on Pareto and on income distribution in industrial and agricultural regions. In these he anticipated modern methods of analysis, attempting to confirm the hypotheses of classical theory by statistical studies instead of through the study of individual behavior.he same methodological approach is evident in his later studies on the relation between the quantity of money, the rate of interest, and the price level. Through a rigorous and broad investigation of actual conditions, Bresciani-Turroni provided evidence that supported the classical theory, according to which the interest rate is related—in the long run—to the productivity of capital. This principle was to constitute a fixed point of reference in the studies of monetary theory and policy to which he dedicated the major part of his life.During the years immediately following World War i, Bresciani-Turroni was economic adviser to the Berlin office of the Reparations Commission. In his frequent and long visits to Germany, between 1920 and 1929, he could follow the vicissitudes of her inflationary economy and the destruction of her currency. From this experience emerged his most important study, The Economics of Inflation, published in 1931 in Italy and later translated into English and other languages. In this trail-blazing study, he conducted a rigorous and documented investigation into the circumstances which led to the drastic depreciation of the German currency; and he examined critically the policies of the Reichsbank, which did not restrain, but in fact encouraged the great inflation that led to the breakdown of the economic and social order of the country. The course of events in Germany presented an extraordinary opportunity for Bresciani-Turroni to attempt to confirm the classical theory of money. In the unrestricted expansion of the quantity of money, he saw the cause of the price increase; according to Bresciani-Turroni, this was a warning to the national authorities of every other country to adopt monetary measures necessary to suppress any inflationary tendencies. Subsequent events in Germany provided him with additional abundant material for another book, Le previsioni economiche, published in 1932.In the 1930s Bresciani-Turroni, as professor of economics at the University of Cairo, conducted studies on the theory of international trade and finance, adding to his German work an examination of the balance of payments of Egypt. The course of the balance of trade seemed to him related to the monetary and credit policies followed in both of these countries by their respective authorities. His attachment to classical theory, supported by comparative studies and observations, led him to assume a critical position with respect to Keynesian theories. In his opinion, these induce inflationary pressures whenever and wherever they are adopted by the authorities as prescriptions for policy.In 1942 Bresciani-Turroni published a book on Economic Policy for the Thinking Man, in which he expounded the rules that, according to his classical principles, should guide the actions of public officials. With the end of World War n, BrescianiTurroni became one of the leaders of Italy’s new economic policy. In 1945 he was appointed president of the Banco di Roma, one of the leading Italian banks, and from 1947 to 1953 he was also executive director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 1953 he served the Italian government as minister for foreign trade.In the postwar years Bresciani-Turroni continued his scholarly activities, contributing various articles to the Review of Economic Conditions in Italy, published by the Banco di Roma. In these writings he surveyed the principal economic developments, with special reference to Italy and to money and credit. He no longer concentrated on subjecting his theory to empirical tests; instead he used his theory to determine the most appropriate economic policy for existing conditions.

1.       Il primo anno di applicazione del piano Dawes, Riforma sociale, 1926

2.       On the Pareto’s Law, Journal of he Royal statistical Society, 1939

3.       The Problem of the Cross-Rates of Exchange, Review of the Economic Conditions in Italy,1948

4.       Osservazioni sulla Teoria del moltiplicatore, Rivista Bancaria, XX,3, 1939

5.       Considerazioni sui barometri economici, Giornale degli Economisti e Rivista di Statistica, 1928

6.       Sui metodi per la misurazione del deprezzamento di una moneta cartacea, Rivista bancaria, 1923

7.       Sul significato logico del coefficiente di correlazione,  Giornale degli Economisti e Rivista di Statistica, 1914

8.       Osservazioni critiche sul metodo del Wolf per lo studio della distribuzione dei redditi,  Giornale degli Economisti e Rivista di Statistica, 1914

9.       Sul carattere delle leggi statistiche,  Giornale degli Economisti e Rivista di Statistica, 1910

10.    Liberalismo e politica economica, Collezione di Testi e di Studi, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2006

Written by Corrado Crocetta e Francesco Anguilano