Open Access

Antonio Serra, Early Modern Political Economist: From Good Government as Individual Behavior to Good Government as Practical Policy


Antonio Serra is one of the first authors to write that society and economy will benefit from a diversified economy, an physical infrastructure for better connectivity between people (for trade), investing in an educated citizenry, and good government. To him government is the prime institutional arrangement that has the ability to lift people up. In this article his ideas are discussed and shown how they foreshadowed the thoughts of colleagues in France, Germany, and Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries. His thoughts also envisions what is called a welfare state.