At the origin of the notion of ‘creative’ goods in economics: Scitovsky and Hawtrey

Author/s Antonio Bariletti, Eleonora Sanfilippo
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/1 Language English
Pages 30 P. 5-34 File size 326 KB
DOI 10.3280/SPE2017-001001
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The notion of ‘creativity’ has taken on growing importance in the recent economic literature on happiness, motivations and life-satisfaction. Starting from the seminal contribution by Scitovsky, the effects of ‘creative’ goods and activities on consumers’ well-being, in connection with cultural, sociological, psychological and educational aspects, have been analyzed. An increasing interest in these concepts has also recently been shown by policy-makers and international institutions (see, e.g., the UNCTAD/UNESCO Reports on Creative Economy, 2010, 2013, 2016). On the other hand, a clear analytical definition of this category of goods and activities and searching investigation into its peculiar characteristics in comparison with other types of products and activities, broadly defined as comfort or defensive ones, is still lacking in economic literature. This is why, despite its wide use, the nature of the distinction and the role it should play in economic analysis still remain somewhat vague and ambiguous. The aim of this paper is to provide a contribution to help clarify this distinction by reconstructing and comparing its original meaning and purpose in the works of Scitovsky (1976, 1992) and Hawtrey (1925) - the first economists who attributed a fundamental role to the notion of ‘creative’ goods in their analyses of consumption behavior.

Keywords: Scitovsky, Hawtrey, creative goods, consumers’ satisfaction, cultural policy.

Jel codes: B31, B41, D01, D11, Z11

  1. Ballard R.J. (1978). Review’ of The Joyless Economy: An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction, by T. Scitovsky, 1976, Southern Economic Journal, 45(1): 301-302.
  2. Bariletti A. (1993). Paternalismo, libertà individuale, beni di merito, in Il merito nella spesa pubblica: la natura e l’offerta di beni non di mercato, (ed.) A. Chiancone e F. Osculati, Collana di Economia Pubblica, Milano, Franco Angeli, pp. 59-89.
  3. Berlyne D.E. (1960). Conflict, Arousal and Curiosity, New York, McGraw-Hill.
  4. Bianchi M. (2003). A questioning economist: Tibor Scitovsky’s attempt to bring joy into economics, Journal of Economic Psychology, 24(3): 391-407.
  5. Bianchi M. (2012). A Joyful Economist. Scitovsky’s Memoirs, History of Economic Thought and Policy, 2: 57-73.
  6. Bianchi M. (2016). The economics of motivations: Tibor Scitovsky and Daniel Berlyne, History of Political Economy, 48 (1) suppl.: 295-315.
  7. Bianchi M. and E. Sanfilippo (2015). Social Interdependencies in Consumption: An Early Economic Debate on Social Distinction, Emulation, and Fashion, History of Political Economy, 47(4): 547-575.
  8. Bobirca A. and A. Draghici (2011). Creativity and Economic Development, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 5(11): 1447-1452.
  9. Carabelli A. (1988). On Keynes’s Method, London, Macmillan.
  10. Collewet M. (2014). Approaches to Well-Being, Use of Psychology and Paternalism in Economics, Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 8 (2014-32): 1-25, --at
  11. Diamond A.M. (1992). Creativity and Interdisciplinarity: A Response to Rubenson and Runco, New Ideas in Psychology, 10(2): 157–160.
  12. Di Giovinazzo V. (2011). Consumer preferences and Individual Satisfaction. Tibor Scitovsky on the role of the arts, --at
  13. Donnini Macciò D. (2015). G.E. Moore’s Philosophy and Cambridge economics: Ralph Hawtrey on ethics and methodology, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 22(2): 163-197.
  14. D’Orlando F. and E. Sanfilippo (2010). Behavioral Foundations for the Keynesian Consumption Function, Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(6): 1035-1046.
  15. Finke R., T.B. Ward and S.M. Smith (1992). Creative cognition: Theory, research, and applications, Cambridge Mass, MIT Press.
  16. Florida R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, New York, Basic Books.
  17. Friedman J.W. (1976). Review of The Joyless Economy: An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction, by T. Scitovsky, 1976, Journal of Political Economy, 84(6): 1372-1374.
  18. Friedman M. (1953). The Methodology of Positive Economics, in Essays in Positive Economics, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1953.
  19. Groenewegen P. (1995). A Soaring Eagle: Alfred Marshall 1842-1924, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.
  20. Gui B. (1996). On “relational goods”: Strategic implications of investment in relationships, International Journal of Social Economics, 23 (10/11): 260–278.
  21. Gui B. and R. Sudgen (2005). Economics and Social Interaction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  22. Guilford J.P. (1950). Creativity, American Psychologist, 5(9): 444–454.
  23. Guilford J.P. (1967). The Nature of Human Intelligence, New York, McGraw-Hill.
  24. Hargreaves H.L. (1927). The Faculty of Imagination: An Enquiry concerning the Existence of a General Faculty, or Group Factor, of Imagination, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  25. Hawtrey R.G. (1913). Good and Bad Trade, London, Constable.
  26. Hawtrey R.G. (1919). Credit and Currency, London, Longmans, Green and Co.
  27. Hawtrey, R.G. (1923). Monetary Reconstruction, London, Longmans, Green and Co.
  28. Hawtrey R.G. (1925). The Economic Problem, London, Longmans, Green and Co., reprint 1926.
  29. Hawtrey R.G. (1932). The Art of Central Banking, London, Longmans.
  30. Hawtrey R.G. (Undated). Right Policy: The Place of Value Judgments in Politics, Hawtrey Papers, 12/2, Churchill College, Cambridge University.
  31. Hebb D.H. (1949). The Organization of Behavior: a Neuropsychological Theory, New York, Wiley.
  32. Hirai T. (2012). Exploring Hawtrey’s Social Philosophy through his Unpublished book Right Policy, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 32(2): 169-192.
  33. Keynes J.M. (1924). Alfred Marshall, 1842-1924, Economic Journal, 34(135): 311-372, reprinted in CWK X, Essays in Biography, 161-231.
  34. Keynes J.M. (1930). Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, reprinted in CWK IX, Essays in Persuasion, pp. 321-332
  35. Keynes J.M. (1936). The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, London, Macmillan, reprinted in CWK VII.
  36. Keynes J.M. (1971-89). The Collected Writings (CWK), D. Moggridge (ed.), London, Macmillan.
  37. Komine A. (2014). Keynes and his Contemporaries, London, Routledge.
  38. Koppl R., S. Kauffman, T. Felin, and G. Longo (2015). Economics for a Creative World, Journal of Institutional Economics, vol. 11(1): 1-31.
  39. Leibenstein H. (1976). Beyond Economic Man. A New Foundation for Microeconomics, Cambridge Mass., Harvard University Press.
  40. Loasby B. J. (1976). Choice, Complexity and Ignorance. An Enquiry into Economic Theory and the Practice of Decision-making, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  41. Marcuzzo M.C. and A. Rosselli (2005). Introduction, in Economists in Cambridge. A Study through their Correspondence 1907-1946, London, Routledge, pp. 1-18.
  42. Marcuzzo M.C., N. Naldi, A. Rosselli and E. Sanfilippo (2008). Cambridge as a Place in Economics, History of Political Economy, 40(4): 560-593.
  43. Martinoia R. (2003). That which is desired, which pleases, and which satisfies: utility according to Alfred Marshall, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 25(3): 349-64.
  44. Marshall A. (1907). The Social Possibilities of Economic Chivalry, Economic Journal, 17(65): 7-29.
  45. Marshall A. (1920[1890]). Principles of Economics, 8th ed, London, Macmillan.
  46. Moggridge D. E. (1992). Maynard Keynes. An Economist’s Biography, London, Routledge.
  47. Moore G.E. (1959[1903]). Principia Ethica, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  48. O’Donnell R. (1989). Keynes: Philosophy, Economics and Politics, London, Macmillan.
  49. Peacock A. (1976). Review of The Joyless Economy: An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction, by T. Scitovsky, 1976, Journal of Economic Literature, 14(4): 1278-1280.
  50. Pigou A. C. (1920[1938]). The Economics of Welfare, fourth edition, London, Macmillan.
  51. Pugno M. (2009). The Easterlin paradox and the decline of social capital: An integrated explanation, Journal of Socio-Economics, 38(4): 590–600.
  52. Pugno M. (2013). Scitovsky and the income-happiness paradox, Journal of Socio-Economics, 43(2): 1-10.
  53. Pugno M. (2014). Scitovsky’s The Joyless Economy and the economics of happiness, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 21(2): 278-303.
  54. Pugno M. (2016). On The Foundations of Happiness in Economics: Reinterpreting Tibor Scitovsky, London, Routledge.
  55. Raffaelli T. (2001). Marshall on Mind and Society: Neurophysiological Models Applied to Industrial and Business Organisation, European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 8(2): 208-229.
  56. Raffaelli T. (2003). Marshall’s evolutionary economics, Studies in the History of Economics, vol. 59, London and New York, Routledge.
  57. Robbins L. (1932). Essay on the nature and significance of economic science, London, Macmillan.
  58. Romer P. (1994). New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions, Journal of Development Economics, 43(1): 5-38.
  59. Rubenson D. and M. Runco (1992). The psychoeconomic approach to creativity, New Ideas in Psychology, 10 (2): 131-147.
  60. Scitovsky A. and T. Scitovsky (1959). What Price Economic Progress?, Yale Review, XLIX: 95-110.
  61. Scitovsky T. (1972). What’s wrong with the Arts is what’s Wrong with Society, reprinted in Human Desires and Economic Satisfaction: Essays on the Frontiers of Economics, Brighton, Wheatsheaf Books, 1986, 37-46.
  62. Scitovsky T. (1976). The Joyless Economy, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  63. Scitvosky T. (1977). The Joyless Economy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, paperback edition
  64. Scitovsky T. (1983). Subsidies for the Arts: the economic argument, reprinted in Human Desires and Economic Satisfaction: Essays on the Frontiers of Economics, Brighton, Wheatsheaf Books, 1986, pp. 149-59.
  65. Scitovsky T. (1986a). Psychologizing by Economists, in Economic Psychology: Intersections in Theory and Application, A. J. and H.W. MacFadyen (eds)(1986), Amsterdam, North-Holland: 165-180, partially reprinted in Scitovsky (1986b).
  66. Scitovsky T. (1986b). How to bring joy into economics, in Human Desires and Economic Satisfaction: Essays on the Frontiers of Economics, Brighton, Wheatsheaf Books, 1986, pp. 183-203.
  67. Scitovsky T. (1992). The Joyless Economy, revised edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  68. Scitovsky T. (1996). My own criticism of The Joyless Economy, Critical Review, 10(4): 595-605.
  69. Scitovsky, T. (Undated) Memoirs, Typescript, in Scitovsky Papers, Special Collections Library/Economists’ Papers, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
  70. Skidelsky R. (1983). John Maynard Keynes. Hopes Betrayed 1883-1920, London, Macmillan.
  71. Sternberg R.J. (1999)(ed.). Handbook of Creativity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
  72. Sugden R. (2013). The behavioural economist and the social planner: To whom should behavioural welfare economics be addressed?, Inquiry, 56(5): 519–538.
  73. UNCTAD (2010). Report on Creative Economy 2010, --at
  74. UNESCO/UNPD (2013). Report on Creative Economy, Special Edition 2013, --at
  75. UNCTAD (2016). Creative Economy Outlook and Country Profile 2016, --at
  76. Wallas G. (1926). Art of Thought, London, Jonathan Cape.
  77. Whitehead A.N. (1927-28[1978]). Process and Reality: an Essay in Cosmology. Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of Edimburgh, 1927-28, New York, Free Press.
  78. Zikmund W.G. (1977). Review of The Joyless Economy: An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction, by T. Scitovsky, 1976, Journal of Marketing, 41 (2): 137-138.
  79. Aufhauser K. (1976). Review of The Joyless Economy. An Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction, by T. Scitovsky, 1976, Economic Journal, 86(344): 911-913.

  • Keynes’s investment theory as a micro-foundation for his grandchildren Sergio Nisticò, in Economics 20200024/2020
    DOI: 10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2020-24
  • Artisan and Handicraft Entrepreneurs Aidin Salamzadeh, Samira Sadat Mortazavi, Morteza Hadizadeh, pp.217 (ISBN:978-3-030-82302-3)

Antonio Bariletti, Eleonora Sanfilippo, At the origin of the notion of ‘creative’ goods in economics: Scitovsky and Hawtrey in "HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY" 1/2017, pp 5-34, DOI: 10.3280/SPE2017-001001