Pareto, Vilfredo

Pareto, Vilfredo

biographical name

(born July 15, 1848, Paris, France—died Aug. 19, 1923, Geneva, Switz.) Italian economist and sociologist. Educated at the University of Turin, he worked as an engineer and later served as a director of a large Italian railway. He taught at the University of Lausanne from 1893. His law of income distribution used a complex mathematical formula to trace historical patterns in the distribution of wealth. In 1906 he laid the foundation of modern welfare economics with his Pareto Optimum, which stated that a society's resources are not optimally allocated as long as it is possible to make at least one person better off while keeping others as well off as before.

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