Metaphors in economics

Far from being mere embellishments of the text, metaphors and other figures of speech are often revealing some aspects of economic discourse that are not immediately apparent.
My work focuses on the metaphors used to describe economic crises, but I am also currently working on a project concerning the graphical representation of the general usage of metaphors, analogies, similes etc. in economic thought.

Articles already published:

Disease of the body politick. A metaphor for crises in the history of nineteenth century economics”,  Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 33: 1, March 2011, pp. 67-118.

Tempests of the Business World: Weather Metaphors for Crises in the Nineteenth Century”, in Roberto Baranzini and François Allisson (eds), Economics and Other Branches – In the Shade of the Oak Tree. Essays in Honour of Pascal Bridel, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014.


A series of 15 articles (in Italian) on ‘metaphors for crises’, concerned with the images of storms, quakes, explosions, buildings and their foundations, gambling and lotteries, vortex, weeds, waves and tides, celestial bodies, the pendulum, stoves and rocking horses.

In preparation

An article on the pendulum metaphor (with Sonya M. Scott), and a book on the metaphors for crises

Research project

Exploring metaphorical usage in economics