I am very pleased to contribute to this session of the 8th ASE Annual Meeting, which is dedicated to Gianni Toniolo. Aside from our enduring grief, we remember Gianni – the economist and the economic historian as well as the political scientist and the writer of learned editorials – with gratitude and pride: we are fortunate to have been his friends and colleagues.
I will first share with you some memories of Gianni Toniolo’s long-lasting relationship with the Bank of Italy, a relationship that started with his contributions to the Historical Series of the Bank of Italy publications (Collana storica della Banca d’Italia) set up in the early 1980s and preceded by the relaunching, with Pierluigi Ciocca, of Luigi Einaudi’s Rivista di Storia Economica. It is thus fitting to recall today how instrumental this journal, published today by il Mulino, is to the ASE’s objectives.
I will then briefly look back at some of Toniolo’s contributions, to underline how much he prioritised the aim of structuring his historical economic research in order to help to shape and inform policy responses to current economic challenges.
Finally, I will review his last, and to us at the Bank of Italy at least, most important book, which represents the peak and synthesis of a journey and collaboration between Gianni and the Bank that spanned around forty years.