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My irregular and low-effort web log.
My blog: random, not very updated and mostly in Italian or French. To comment send me an email.
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It has been ages since I wrote anything here. So much has changed since 2017. I changed cities, countries, acquaintances, I left one graduate program for another, witnessed a global pandemic, and, of course, I got extremely old. I moved from Paris to Budapest. Living in Orbán’s Hungary really helped me to clarify some of my ideas about liberalism and the EU, and I will carry the strange charm of Budapest in my heart. Everything mentioned here would require so many words to be fully explored, and it is too much, for now.

For now, I would just like to announce that my paper about the relationship of household debt and welfare has been finally published. This paper started in another era. The working version of the paper, published on this website in 2014, already contained the seed of the idea. Across OECD countries indebtedness doesn’t increase because of a lack of welfare – it’s more complicated than that. In Scandinavia, inclusive welfare systems turn debt into an investment. Elsewhere, a gerontocratic welfare system creates other debt patterns encouraging widespread use of consumer credit, or no debt at all.

Only 7 years later (sigh…) you can read the peer-reviewed version of this idea on Sociological Spectrum (in open access) and a shorter version, for dissemination, on the ECPR blog, The Loop.

Noi matti

Luigi Attenasio - ex-presidente di Psichiatria Democratica - nel suo libro “Fuori Norma. La diversità come valore e sapere.” parlava così di “Noi Matti”, un articolo divulgativo redatto da Franco e Franca Basaglia per «L’Espresso/colore» del 21 marzo 1971:

Provocazione durissima e insieme divertentissima, da far mandare a memoria a tutti i dirigenti amministrativi e sanitari delle USL, a tutti i membri della commissioni parlamentari della Sanità e della Giustizia, a tutti gli studenti e laureati in medicina e in giurisprudenza, a tutti i giornalisti che scrivono di matti, di manicomi e di legge 180. Ma (probabilmente proprio per questo) un testo ormai reperibile soltanto in qualche emeroteca: neppure i due bei volumi antologici delle opere di Basaglia pubblicati da Einaudi nel 1981 lo includono.

A dicembre 2016, avventurandomi in qualche oscura emeroteca, ne ho trovato un esemplare e ho deciso di curarne una edizione online, la si può trovare qui: Noi Matti - Dizionario sociale della psichiatria.

Basaglia scriveva negli anni ‘70, da allora non molto è cambiato. Ho l’impressione che ci sia sempre più la tendenza a “medicalizzare” tutto. La cosa ha interessanti risvolti sociologici a cui pensare…

Summer Conferences

This month I am going to present part of my work at the SASE conference in London and, few days later, at the CES conference in Paris. Here you will find my slides:

History repeats itself?

Irving Fisher about Germany’s debt in 1922. Read the full article.

Private Debt, Public Virtues?

A few months ago, I was looking at how household debt was distributed among European countries. This new article is my first step on answering why those differences exist.

Private Debt, Public Virtues?
On the relationship between welfare and household debt.

It appears that welfare helps to stabilize economic perspectives, and contributes to make people more confident and less scared of borrowing money. This would explain the great(er) private leverage in northern European countries. In continental Europe, welfare protection is less broad, so people are more risk adverse and think twice before borrowing. In Anglo-Saxon countries, it seems there is no clear distinction between welfare and credit, like Prasad or Trumbul said, and therefore a lot of people need to borrow in order to afford universities or hospitals…