The aim of this paper is to analyse the autonomy of central banks from a historical perspective, with reference to the founding and development of the Bank of Italy in the period between its inception (1893) and the passing of the Italian Banking Law of 1936. The issue of the autonomy of central banks from governments and budgetary policies has been investigated by several scholars, for whom the degree of autonomy is linked exclusively to factors connected with those wielding power or influence at the time, and factors related to the contingent historical and economic situation. Few studies so far have investigated the causes of the evolution of the degree of autonomy of the central banks, considering this evolution as strictly linked with the process of central state autonomy. The authors aim to investigate the evolution of the Bank of Italy’s level of autonomy in light of Michael Mann’s thinking.
Keywords: Central bank autonomy, central state, Bank of Italy, Michael Mann.