we are finally back after a short break with more exciting WISE seminars!

Next week, it will be Giovanni Favero's turn on the WISE floor! Giovanni will bring us back in time with his presentation of "Industrial Statistics in Liberal Italy: A Case of Observatory
Capture". A very fitting "historical" opportunity in this anniversary year!
Don't miss this opportunity to join us at WISE on Wednsday May 18 at 12.45-14 pm in room E.

Here is an abstract of his presentation.


The ability of industrial entrepreneurs to influence the outcome of statistical surveys on industry is inquired here exploiting the correspondence between Luigi Bodio and Alessandro Rossi. Bodio (1840-1920) was the head of Italian official statistics from 1871 to 1898 and had also an important role in the International Statistical Institute. Rossi (1819-1898) was the main Italian wool industrialist of the time, and was directly involved in the promotion of protectionism. The in-depth study of the exchange of letters between the two allows a micro-analysis of the mechanisms by which a businessman could exert his influence on a public official, by which the data provided by the former could take on an official nature, and by which his opinions could affect the approach of the latter as a statistician to the measurement of industry. In time, the industrialist’s attitude changes from a passive resistance to statistical investigation to a more active role of unofficial consultant to the statistician. The growing influence Rossi exerted is interpreted as a case of deep regulatory capture, showing how industrialists could mould in some parts the official data that would be used to take economic-policy decisions. Rossi’s involvement in the construction of official statistics is also discussed in connection with the indirect effects it had in the long period on the statistical representation of Italian industrial economy.

The paper is available at :

Please note lunch will take place before the seminar, between 12.45 and 1 pm, with the presentation starting only at 1 pm.

Remember also that WISE went green, thus we kindly ask you to confirm by email your participation to the seminar in due time, in order to allow to prepare the right amount of food. Please remember also to state whether you require a vegetarian option!

Looking forward to seeing you all at WISE!
-the WISE staff