Perrotta explores and charts the changing place of consumption as a source of investment in production and growth within economic writings from ancient history to the present. This ambitious project is carried out with great skill, vigour and originality and will help to bring consumption studies into the mainstream of economic thought.
I. Introduction: The Legacy of the Past II. The Ancients and Inner Wealth III. Patristics: End of the Contempt for Wealth and Labour IV. Medieval Dualism: Poverty as an Ideal; Wealth as a Practical Goal V. Italian Humanism Ignores Economic Development VI. From Alms to Human Capital VII. Spanish Unproductive Consumption VIII. Expanding Production: A (Fearful) Hunger for Goods IX. Productive and Unproductive Labour X. Foreign Trade: Fostering Productive Consumption/ Productive Labour XI. The Enlightenment Theory of Development: Consumption as an Investment