Pareto, Vilfredo

(1848–1923)
   One of the most important economists of the 19th century, Vilfredo Pareto was also a challenging sociologist and political economist. For economic theorists, Pareto is chiefly remembered as the inventor of the so-called Pareto optimalization in 1906, which describes efficient and inefficient states in a market economy. Pareto was also one of the leading proponents of laissez-faire theories after the Italian state’s adoption of protectionism in 1887. He did not shirk political polemic: In June 1896, in a devastating article, he ironically attacked numerous leading politicians, and in particular Antonio Starabba di Rudini, as heading a “ministry of gentlemen,” for not having investigated the role played by political corruption in the Banca Romana scandal. As a sociologist, Pareto’s reputation rests upon his colossal (2,000 page) Trattato di sociologia generale (Treatise of General Sociology, 1916). The central theme of his work in social theory was that human history is nothing other than a perpetual struggle between elites to obtain power or to conserve it. Political ideologies (such as liberalism or conservatism or socialism) are merely elaborate justifications with which the elites mask their intentions from others and even from themselves. Pareto believed, moreover, that contemporary Europe was guided by a uniquely inept ruling class that did not even defend its own values with energy and was destined to yield to the rising power of the working class.
   Pareto’s academic career was largely spent in Switzerland. He took the chair in political economy at the University of Lausanne in 1893. In his final years, he lived at Celigny on the shores of Lake Geneva. He died there in 1923.
   See also Mosca, Gaetano.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pareto, Vilfredo — (1848 1923) An Italian economist and sociologist, subject of an extensive treatment in Talcott Parsons s The Structure of Social Action(1937) as a co founder of the ‘voluntaristic theory of action’, but since largely ignored by sociologists.… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Pareto, Vilfredo — 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… …   Universalium

  • Pareto, Vilfredo — (15 jul. 1848, París, Francia–19 ago. 1923, Ginebra, Suiza). Economista y sociólogo italiano. Estudió en la Universidad de Turín, trabajó como ingeniero y fue posteriormente director de un gran ferrocarril italiano. Empezó a desempeñarse como… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • PARETO, Vilfredo — (1848 1923)    Italian SOCIOLOGIST and economist who with WEBER and DURKHEIM ranks as a founding Father of twentieth century academic SOCIOLOGY. In particular he contributed important ideas to the psychological dimension of sociology. In his… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Pareto, Vilfredo — (Parigi 1848 Céligny, Ginevra 1923) sociologo ; economista. collab./opere: “La Ronda” …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Pareto, Vilfredo Frederico Damaso — (1848 1923) Gen Mgt Italian economist, mathematician, and sociologist. Originator of the eighty twenty rule, and of the law of income distribution known as Pareto’s Law, which he explained in Cours d’Économie Politique (1896–97) …   The ultimate business dictionary

  • Pareto — Pareto, Vilfredo …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Vilfredo Pareto — Lausanne School Born 15 July 1848(1848 07 15) Died 19 August 1923(1923 08 …   Wikipedia

  • Vilfredo Pareto — Naissance 15 juillet 1848 Paris,  France …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vilfredo Frédérico Damaso — Vilfredo Pareto Vilfredo Pareto Naissance 15 juillet 1848 Paris …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.