Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Pareto, Vilfredo (1848–1923)
David L. Hammes
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was a famed economist and sociologist. He is best known for the economic concept of Pareto efficiency (or Pareto optimality). He made other wide-ranging contributions to economics that since the late 1930s have greatly influenced modern conceptions of demand, welfare, and planning. Pareto's law asserts that distribution of income and wealth follows a regular logarithmic formula. (Pareto charts are a standard statistics display tool.) He also made important contributions to sociology and moral philosophy. Vilfredo was the only son of a nobleman, who was living in Paris in exile from Genoa for his nationalist views, and a Frenchwoman. The family returned to Italy, where the elder Pareto worked as an engineer. He made a comfortable living raising his family in a ...