How much does finance benefit society?


  • Giancarlo Bertocco Dipartimento di Economia, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
  • Andrea Kalajzic Dipartimento di Economia, Università degli Studi dell'Insubria



good finance, bad finance, enterprise, speculation


The financial crisis that erupted in 2007 has generated feelings of deep aversion towards finance among the public. Zingales (2015) urges the economics profession not to underestimate these feelings, noting that economists tend to overestimate the benefits of finance and to ignore that the ‘best form of finance’ is accompanied by a ‘bad type of finance’. The problem with these statements is that the macroeconomic theory elaborated over the last decades is unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for the coexistence of these two forms of finance. The aim of this work is to present a sound explanation of the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ finance, based on: i) Keynes’s distinction between ‘enterprise’ and ‘speculation’; ii) Schumpeter analysis of the role of bank money in a capitalist economy.

JEL codes: G01, G20, E12, E44

Keywordsgood finance, bad finance, enterprise, speculation


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How to Cite

Bertocco, G., & Kalajzic, A. (2019). How much does finance benefit society?. PSL Quarterly Review, 71(287), 419–437.