The riforma sociale in the making of an economist: francesco saverio nitti The paper attempts to trace the character and work of Francesco Saverio Nitti by reflecting on the economic and social contents of the review he founded: "La riforma sociale". The historical period is the end of the 19th century, by which the "Giornale degli Economisti" of Antonio de Viti de Marco, Ugo Mazzola and Maffeo Pantaleoni had already established as the principal Italian journal of political economy. "La riforma sociale" was born in the February of 1894 under the initiative of Francesco Saverio Nitti with the aim of containing the dominant liberal thought and reviving a way of making research in the field of economics that may be ascribed to the German Historicism. The paper focuses on the roots of the ideals of Nitti’s review and on the meaning of the disagreement with the "Giornale degli Economisti", on the ground of method, ideology and economic policy. More in detail, the paper considers Nitti’s views on production, distribution and their possible connections; labour protection and social legislation; the relationship between internal social policy and international competition; and lastly, regional imbalances and public intervention.
JEL classification: B 3; B 31, B 40.
Keywords: Saverio Nitti; Social reform; Production and distribution; Legislation of labor; Protectionism; Regional economics.