Area soci

191 - Il Manuale di economia politica (1906) di Vilfredo Pareto: la regola 80/20 compie cento anni*

Autore/i: Dorizzi R.M.

Rivista: RIMeL - IJLaM, Vol. 2, N. 3, 2006 (MAF Servizi srl ed.)

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto, the son of the Marquis Raffaele Pareto, an Italian exiled from his native Genoa because of his political views, and Marie Mattenier, was born in Paris in 1848. He followed his father to Italy in 1855 and graduated at the Turin Politecnico in 1870. For some years after graduation, he worked as a civil engineer, first for the state-owned Italian Railway Company and later in private industry. After a short but intense political activity in the opposition party, Pareto was appointed Professor of Political Economy at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1893 and became a leading economist and sociologist. Just a century ago, in 1906, he published “Il Manuale di Economia Politica” which proposed a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto's Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto's Principle or Pareto's Law as it is sometimes called, became one of the most renown, and effective management tools and became part of the Quality Systems of the clinical laboratories. The name of Pareto has been linked to many other concepts still popular and investigated such as the 'circulation of elites' theory, ophelimity (the status of a society when no one can be made better off without making someone else worse off), the residues and derivations. People act on the basis of non-logical sentiments (residues) and invent justifications for them afterwards (derivations). In conclusion the author reminds the anniversary of an important work in economy an sociology literature and recommends its knowledge and its use to the professionals of Laboratory Medicine.

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