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The origins of the Gini index: extracts from Variabilità e Mutabilità (1912) by Corrado Gini


  • Lidia Ceriani


  • Paolo Verme



The scope of this paper is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Gini index by providing the original formulae. Corrado Gini introduced his index for the first time in a 1912 book published in Italian under the name of “Variabilità e Mutabilità” (Variability and Mutability). This article provides selected extracts of Part I of the book dedicated to measures of variability. We find that Gini proposed no less than 13 formulations of his index, none of which is known today to the large public. We also find that Gini anticipated some of the developments that derived from the study of his index. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Lidia Ceriani & Paolo Verme, 2012. "The origins of the Gini index: extracts from Variabilità e Mutabilità (1912) by Corrado Gini," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(3), pages 421-443, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:421-443
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-011-9188-x

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    Cited by:

    1. Lidia Ceriani & Paolo Verme, 2015. "Individual Diversity and the Gini Decomposition," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 637-646, April.
    2. Hagen, Nils T., 2015. "Contributory inequality alters assessment of academic output gap between comparable countries," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 629-641.
    3. repec:kap:jecinq:v:15:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10888-017-9348-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Berkhouch, Mohammed & Lakhnati, Ghizlane, 2017. "Extended Gini-type measures of risk and variability," MPRA Paper 80329, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:70-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mohammed Berkhouch & Ghizlane Lakhnati & Marcelo Brutti Righi, 2017. "Extended Gini-type measures of risk and variability," Papers 1707.07322,, revised Mar 2018.
    7. Xiaofeng Lv & Gupeng Zhang & Xinkuo Xu & Qinghai Li, 0. "Bootstrap-calibrated empirical likelihood confidence intervals for the difference between two Gini indexes," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 0, pages 1-22.
    8. Chi, Pei-Shan, 2016. "Differing disciplinary citation concentration patterns of book and journal literature?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 814-829.
    9. Greselin, Francesca & Zitikis, Ricardas, 2015. "Measuring economic inequality and risk: a unifying approach based on personal gambles, societal preferences and references," MPRA Paper 65892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Stefania Capecchi & Maria Iannario, 2016. "Gini heterogeneity index for detecting uncertainty in ordinal data surveys," METRON, Springer;Sapienza Università di Roma, vol. 74(2), pages 223-232, August.
    11. Michal Bernard Pietrzak, 2014. "Redefining The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem Within Spatial Econometrics, The Case Of The Aggregation Problem," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 9(3), pages 131-151, September.
    12. repec:spr:metron:v:75:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40300-017-0115-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:gam:jecnmx:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:4-:d:128699 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Romero, Natalia & Nozick, Linda K. & Xu, Ningxiong, 2016. "Hazmat facility location and routing analysis with explicit consideration of equity using the Gini coefficient," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 165-181.
    15. Chopin, Pierre & Doré, Thierry & Guindé, Loïc & Blazy, Jean-Marc, 2015. "MOSAICA: A multi-scale bioeconomic model for the design and ex ante assessment of cropping system mosaics," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 26-39.
    16. Xiaofeng Lv & Gupeng Zhang & Guangyu Ren, 2017. "Gini index estimation for lifetime data," Lifetime Data Analysis: An International Journal Devoted to Statistical Methods and Applications for Time-to-Event Data, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 275-304, April.
    17. Peter Lambert, 2013. "From the editor of Rediscovered Classics," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 131-132, June.
    18. James Alm & Ruslan Grigoryev & Marat Kramin & Timur Kramin, 2016. "Testing Kuznets’ Hypothesis for Russian Regions: Trends and Interpretations," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(2), pages 560-568.
    19. Ulrich Schmidt & Philipp Christoph Wichardt, 2018. "Inequity Aversion, Welfare Measurement and the Gini Index," CESifo Working Paper Series 7029, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Antonelli, Cristiano & Gehringer, Agnieszka, 2017. "Technological change, rent and income inequalities: A Schumpeterian approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 85-98.


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