Vilfredo Pareto

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto[3] (UK: /pæˈrt, -ˈrt-/ pa-RAY-toh, -EE-,[4] US: /pəˈrt/ pə-RAY-toh,[5] Italian: [vilˈfreːdo paˈreːto], Ligurian: [paˈɾeːtu]; born Wilfried Fritz Pareto; 15 July 1848 – 19 August 1923) was an Italian civil engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices. He was also responsible for popularising the use of the term "elite" in social analysis.

Vilfredo Pareto
Wilfried Fritz Pareto

(1848-07-15)15 July 1848
Died19 August 1923(1923-08-19) (aged 75)
InstitutionsUniversity of Lausanne
School or
Lausanne School
Italian school of elitism[1][2]
Alma materPolytechnic University of Turin
ContributionsPareto index
Pareto chart
Pareto principle
Pareto efficiency
Pareto distribution

He introduced the concept of Pareto efficiency and helped develop the field of microeconomics. He was also the first to discover that income follows a Pareto distribution, which is a power law probability distribution. The Pareto principle was named after him, and it was built on observations of his such as that 80% of the wealth in Italy belonged to about 20% of the population. He also contributed to the fields of sociology and mathematics, according to the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard L. Hudson:

His legacy as an economist was profound. Partly because of him, the field evolved from a branch of moral philosophy as practised by Adam Smith into a data intensive field of scientific research and mathematical equations. His books look more like modern economics than most other texts of that day: tables of statistics from across the world and ages, rows of integral signs and equations, intricate charts and graphs.[6]

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