Melchiorre Gioia (both: mālkyôr´rā jō´yä), 1767–1829, Italian economist and political theorist. An early advocate of the unification of Italy, he was several times imprisoned, once on charges of association with the Carbonari movement. He opposed the doctrines of Adam Smith, insisting on the economic duty of the state. He also conducted important statistical studies. His chief works are Del merito e delle ricompense [concerning merit and rewards] (1818–19) and Filosofia della statistica [philosophy of statistics] (1829–30).