Nicola Acocella

Nicola Acocella

Nicola Acocella guest of “Trinità dei Monti”, a Rome based think tank
Born (1939-07-03) July 3, 1939
Calitri, Italy
Nationality Italian
Institution Sapienza University of Rome
Field Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Public Policy
Alma mater Sapienza University of Rome
Influences Federico Caffè, Bruno de Finetti, Luigi Einaudi, Ragnar Frisch, Jan Tinbergen, Henri Theil, Edmund Phelps, Paolo Sylos Labini, Ezio Tarantelli, Giancarlo Gandolfo
Influenced Roberto Schiattarella, Francesca Sanna Randaccio, Alessandra Guariglia, Manuela Angelucci, Giovanni Di Bartolomeo, Paolo G. Piacquadio, Federico Signoretti
Contributions Theory of economic policy, Monetary policy, Fiscal policy European institutions, Oligopoly, Transnational corporations, Theory of public goods, Globalization, Labour market, Trade unions
Awards First Medal from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ for 'excellence research' in the theory of economic policy in a strategic context, 2009
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Nicola Acocella (born July 3, 1939) is an Italian economist and academic.[1]

In 1963 he graduated in Economics from the “Sapienza University of Rome” with a thesis on ‘Time lags in economic policy’, under the supervision of Federico Caffè.[2] After becoming full professor (1980), he got a reputation for his holistic contribution to systematisation and development of Economic policy. He also introduced remarkable innovations in the theory of economic policy as well as in monetary and fiscal policy and the theory of social pacts.

Academic career

During his career Prof. Acocella had the opportunity to exchange views or to co-operate with some of the most important economists of the twentieth century, such as Kenneth Arrow, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz and other eminent professors like Paul De Grauwe, Alexis Jacquemin, Adrian Pagan, Luigi L. Pasinetti, Douglas Hibbs, Andrew Hughes Hallett, Peter J. Hammond.

He has visited, among others, the University of Cambridge, Oxford, Toronto, Harvard, Reading, Stanford as well as the European Union and the United Nations.[3]

He has been Professor of Economics with the University of Perugia; Professor of Industrial organization and Economic Policy at the University of Calabria; Professor of Economic Policy, Sapienza University of Rome. He has also been Head of the Department of Economics, University of Calabria; Head of the Economics Graduate Studies Program, Sapienza University of Rome; Member of the Research Commission, Sapienza University of Rome[4]

Membership and associations

Research and contributions to economic analysis

Prof. Acocella has developed his expertise in several research fields. He worked first on industrial organisation and globalization. Among his numerous contributions in this field: a dynamic version of the static limit pricing model by Bain, Modigliani and Sylos Labini and a model for transfer pricing by multinational firms as well as a number of essays on the distributional and employment effects of globalization[5][6]

He has also contributed to the theory of social pacts, their substitutability with other institutions – such as a conservative central banker – in order to ensure monetary stability, their implementation, with specific reference to the long-term Italian issue of a low productivity dynamics.[7]

He has also investigated monetary and fiscal policy, both in abstract terms (dealing in particular with: conditions for their effectiveness, existence of a non vertical long-run Phillips curve, optimal inflation rate) and with reference to the European institutional architecture (optimality of co-ordinated fiscal action and monetary policy orientation).[8]

A final path of analysis has led him to lay down a systematic approach to economic policy as a discipline to some extent autonomous from the rest of economic science, by enquiring on the various needs to heal market failures as well as the directions and the design of public policy.[9][10]

About one of his contributions the Nobel prize Amartya Sen has said:

“Professor Nicola Acocella has provided an illuminating and challenging account of the foundations of economic policy. His analysis covers the established ground as well as providing new departures; the book is a rich addition to the existing literature.”
Praise for: Acocella, N. [1994], “The Foundations of Economic Policy. Values and Techniques”.[11]
A. Sen

Of specific interest is his reformulation (together with Giovanni Di Bartolomeo and Andrew Hughes Hallett) of the classical theory of economic policy laid down by Jan Tinbergen, Theil and Ragnar Frisch in a setting immune from Lucas critique. This offers a novel contribution to the analysis of conditions not only for policy effectiveness or neutrality (showing the limits of validity of many currently accepted propositions on the effects of rational expectations and time inconsistency as well as on the role of policy announcements), but also for existence, uniqueness or multiplicity of the equilibrium in strategic games. The theory is of use also in an institutional perspective as a theory of conflict resolutions and optimal institution setting.

Notable publishing activities

Referee for various journals and international institutions. Among them: Cambridge University Press, Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of Macroeconomics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, United Nations.

Honours and fellowships

List of publications

A selection of his published works follows:[13]

Monographs in English language

Main monographs in Italian language

Main articles in English language

Main articles in Italian language

See also


  1. "Recovery claims met with derision in Rome". Financial Times. January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  2. "it: 'I ragazzi che cercarono il professor Caffè (EN: 'The boys who looked for Professor Caffè.')". Repubblica. April 8, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  3. Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Acocella on the website of the Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance, Faculty of Economics, Sapienza University of Rome.
  4. Profile on the website of the Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance, Faculty of Economics, Sapienza University of Rome.
  5. "it: 'Se produrre all'estero crea lavoro' (EN: 'Does producing abroad create jobs?')". Repubblica. December 13, 1999. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  6. "it: 'La multinazionale Italia ha 205 mila dipendenti' (EN: 'Italian multinationals have 205,000 employees abroad')". Repubblica. October 30, 1984. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  7. "it: 'Un nuovo modello di PattoSociale per la produttività' (EN: 'A new model of Social Pact for productivity growth.')". Repubblica. October 8, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  8. "it: 'La Bce e il mito della stabilità monetaria' (EN: 'The ECB and the myth of monetary stability')". Corriere. May 1, 2000. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  9. "'Europe's leaders must look seriously at New Deal plan. From Prof Robert Boyer and others.'". Financial Times. July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  10. EN: See Working hypothesis about the setup of the next Economic and Financial Planning Document. Remarks and proposals, Assembly of the National Council of Economy and Labour – June 11, 2008, p. iv, “Patto di Produttività” (Productivity Pact)
  11. See the last page of the book “The Foundations of Economic Policy. Values and Techniques”.
  12. Source: ‘Sapienza Ricerca, Chi Ricerca Trova’, p. 88.
  13. The complete list of essays and books written by Prof. Acocella is available online on the website of the Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance Sapienza University of Rome.
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