The minister’s proposal came a few days ago Dario Franceschini to invite government colleagues and citizens all a “A game that must become European”. There is talk of creating an online platform dedicated to the art, entertainment, history and culture of our country. “The time has come to capitalize on our cultural wealth made up of content envied and copied all over the world” the minister reiterates. “Europe must implement tools capable of promoting this wealth, also by equipping itself with a digital platform capable of competing with large multinationals”. A platform, it can be deduced, that the public can freely access, possibly enriched by specialized sections to consult at a small, completely acceptable cost.. “The netflix of culture”, as this new platform is defined by Corriere della Sera.
“Culture is served: the public platform for the arts and entertainment is launched. Internet to beat Covid “ the newspaper La Stampa enthusiastically headlined the minister’s proposal.
Milan. Open-air museum
At the same time Giampaolo Berni Ferretti, President of Milano Vapore, launched an online debate on the theme “Milan. Open-air museum ”underlining precisely those strong historical and cultural values that are universally recognized in the city of Milan. The debate ended with two concepts shared by the participants: “Making culture is also creating community. All these values of the city will play a crucial role in the recovery of the country’s cultural and economic fervor, once the current emergency has been overcome “
Interview with the lawyer Giampaolo Berni Ferretti, President of Milano Vapore
In the course of the debate on Milan, which we have mentioned, there was talk precisely of the “Economy of Knowledge” and the indispensable role of Culture in a capitalist economy perspective. Let’s now try to broaden the discussion by deepening the more formal aspects, which could not be explored during the online event.
The position of Milano Vapore seems to fit perfectly into the idea launched by Minister Franceschini. Could you go back to the fundamental aspects of your proposals?
“We can summarize in extreme synthesis the capitalist economy in 3 macro-theories: the founding one of matter by Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations, 1776), the Keynesian one (General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936) and that of Growth whose founder is Robert Solow in 1956. Since the first two realize their main effects in the short and medium term, when we want to talk about long-term economic growth and set the related economic policy strategies, we must force to refer to the neoclassical analysis of the curve of the production function in order to set up a more correct recipe in terms of development ”.
You mentioned precisely the Theory of Growth during the debate
“When we talk about Growth Theory, we note that there is a conspicuous, inexplicable gap between real GDP growth and what is instead detected by the measurements in mathematical terms through the study of the trend of the production curve in the long term, depending on the two production factors principal, Capital and Labor, since these have decreasing returns (the more you use them, the more they yield less over time). This means that there is something magical that we cannot identify between a data detected by the national accounts and what economic science can tell us in mathematical terms ”.
What determines this marked deviation?
“This something inexplicable is called Economy of Knowledge as indicated in the famous 1990 article by the 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics Paul Romer, titled Endogenous Technological Change (Journal of Political Economy) where the work of Solow, identifying in Knowledge the factor that explains the differences in growth over time between the 2 production curves, analyzed respectively ex ante and ex post “.
So when we want to plan an economic policy for growth at the European, national or local level, we cannot ignore the variable Knowledge?
“Exact. There are many definitions of knowledge, the most rudimentary is that of Information, as the main immateriality compared to the tangible one of Price, dating back to From Hayek and the Austrian School up to the most modern, all listed by Dominique Foray in his 2000 book, L’économie de la connaissance. Examples of knowledge are: education, the software behind technology, creativity (subjective knowledge) behind industries such as cinema, television, fashion, architecture, etc., and culture which is knowledge noble, the one of the highest quality that man can possess and produce, the one that brings together four properties: 1. The tangible part: the works, the infrastructure (eg the Duomo of Milan, the Pompeii excavations, the Royal Palace of Caserta, etc. -that is the Cultural Heritage-); 2. The creative dimension: research, services, marketing, etc; 3. Its various manifestations: training, theatrical representation, audiovisual production, etc .; 4. Its positive externalities: full harmony with the Environment.
But do Knowledge and Culture differ then?
“Knowledge is an asset in an economic sense (public, private or mixed) and Culture is too. We are therefore authorized to speak of Economics of Culture and to be able to think about its economic management in all its forms. Not only that, but the following relationship is valid: more culture = more income (or growth or GDP). Furthermore, Culture, as a type of knowledge, is a productive factor that presents increasing returns: the type of growth it determines is not an additional type, but a multiplicative one. GDP can grow really big if you invest in culture! In addition, Culture is a type of knowledge that is often linked to a territorial dimension: it is more effective if inserted in local rather than national socio-economic development policies. It is in this context that it shows its maximum production efficiency “.
If I understand correctly, you intend to apply these concepts to the city of Milan
“If we want to relaunch a city like Milan in a modern sense, we cannot ignore culture, helping to create the third historical-economic passage of the city: that of the Cultural District, which follows the current city of services and the previous industrial district.
But in order to be able to successfully face this third historical-economic passage of the city, that of the Cultural District, it will be necessary to deeply review the relationship between the costs of an excessive bureaucracy and the relationship between citizens, that is, the costs of services and the State. Apparatus that obviously are not productive of wealth and attractiveness of foreign investments, as already extensively analyzed in the book MILANOVENTUNOPUNTOZERO
Thanks for this insight. If you agree, we will soon be back to talk with you about the economy of culture