Della moneta.

Milan, Galeazzi, 1772.

8vo, pp. 155, [3]; a pristine copy, unsophisticated and uncut in the original publisher’s marbled wrappers, preserved in glassine and protected in a purpose-made slip-case.


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Very scarce first edition of a ground-breaking work remarkable for its use of mathematical models and for its proposal of a legal tender to which all other currencies should be linked.

‘Giambattista Vasco was the first to introduce into economic theory, in 1772, a form of dynamic process analysis by using models, which aimed to follow the time path, through successive periods, of the ratio between gold and silver in three countries under a bimetallic system’ (R. Theocharis, The Development of Mathematical Economics, p. 4). Theocharis devotes several pages of his Early Developments in Mathematical Economics to the exposition of Vasco’s mathematical contribution to economics: ‘Vasco is the earliest writer on dynamic process analysis, but his work remains entirely unknown to this day even among his own compatriots. […] A country, says Vasco, may fix the relation between gold and silver independently and in accordance with its particular conditions; but on the other hand, it may take into consideration the ratios between gold and silver existing in other countries and take as its ratio the arithmetic means of the ratios of all other nations; if all nations adopt the latter procedure, we shall see that individual differences of the ratios will tend to diminish and they will tend towards an equilibrium value [Vasco follows this statement with the relevant mathematical demonstrations] Vasco’s example, and that of Du Pont […] were left without imitation for over fifty years until T. Perronet Thompson made another contribution to dynamic economics’ (pp. 40 ff.)

Cossa 148 (45); Einaudi 5830; Goldsmiths’ 10921; Higgs 5547; Kress 6910; Kress Italian 419; Mattioli 3697.

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