Innovation, changes in market structure, and changes in income distribution are the forces that drive the general process of economic growth or decline. This is the concept that unifies these essays written between 1954 and 1983 by the noted economist Paolo Sylos-Labini. In each essay as he illuminates some aspect of this concept, Sylos-Labini displays a historical sensibility to theory that distinguishes him from most modern economists.Essays in the first section lay the groundwork for the book by going back to the classical economists, directly and indirectly through Schumpeter. Throughout the rest of the book, Sylos-Labini’s explication and appraisal of the theories of Smith, Ricardo, Manx, and Schumpeter concerning innovation, market structure, and income distribution inform his own search for a theoretical model to analyze the process of economic growth and decline in the current stage of modern capitalism’s evolution.In the book’s second section, essays address innovation and changes in productivity. In the third section, they focus on changes in market structure, exploring the relationship among oligopoly, pricing, inflation, and economic growth. A final section of the book is concerned primarily with the relationship between economic growth and income distribution.
Paolo Sylos-Labini is Full Professor of Economics, Department of Statistics, University of Rome.