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The Gini Coefficient: Its Origins

Author

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  • Simone Pellegrino

    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

Abstract

This essay retraces the fundamental steps and analyses the theoretical motivation that influenced the definition of the Gini index and its application today. It starts with the concept of mean difference, proposed by Corrado Gini in 1912, for applications in statistics and economics. The difference between the concentration ratio Gini proposed in 1914 and the Gini index, as it is usually used today, is highlighted in light of its geometrical interpretation with the Lorenz piecewise linear function proposed by Gaetano Pietra in 1915.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Pellegrino, 2020. "The Gini Coefficient: Its Origins," Working papers 070, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  • Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:070
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    File URL: https://www.bemservizi.unito.it/repec/tur/wpapnw/m70.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Dorfman, Robert, 1979. "A Formula for the Gini Coefficient," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 146-149, February.
    3. Michael P Schneider, 2004. "Measuring Inequality: The Origins of the Lorenz Curve and the Gini Coefficient," Working Papers 2004.01, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    4. Michael P Schneider, 2004. "Measuring Inequality: The Origins of the Lorenz Curve and the Gini Coefficient," Working Papers 2004.01 EDIRC Provider-In, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gini Coefficient; Lorenz Curve;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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