Person: Gini, Corrado
Corrado Gini was an Italian statistician, demographer and sociologist.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Gini studied in the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna.
- Gini published Contributo alle applicazioni statistiche del calcolo delle probabilità Ⓣ(Contribution to the statistical applications of probability) in 1907.
- Some of Gini's early work was associated with the problem of how to measure inequalities in income and wealth in different countries.
- Gini did not like the index devised by Pareto which he felt did not give realistic results.
- Gini introduced what he felt was a more satisfactory index in his 1909 paper Il diverso accrescimento delle classi sociali e la concentrazione della ricchezza Ⓣ(The growth of different social classes, and the concentration of wealth).
- He produced this in Sulla misura della concentrazione e della variabilità dei caratteri Ⓣ(On the measure of concentration and character variability) (1914) which contains what are now called the Gini coefficient and Gini index.
- At Padua, Gini established a Statistical Institute in 1920.
- Both Gini and Mussolini were interested in demography although Gini's approach, which looked at the evolution and equilibrium of population as similar to a biological organism, did not fit with Mussolini's ideas at controlling population.
- However, in the years following the First World War, Gini was much involved in the problems of reconstruction in Italy.
- In 1923 Gini left Padua, when he was appointed to the University of Rome.
- Mussolini set up the Central Statistical Institute in July 1926 and personally appointed Gini to be its president and to oversee its organisation.
- Gini was by this time advising Mussolini on demographic issues.
- assigned the official task to designate national representative in international scientific meetings on statistical subjects: Gini's scientific and academic authority was thus enhanced by the law.
- But the economic and financial crisis persuaded the Ministry of Finance in the same year to reduce by a third the budget of the Institute, a step that Gini opposed in vain.
- In December 1931 Gini resigned as president of the Central Statistical Institute, feeling that controversy over its organisation would interfered with his work.
- In 1934 Gini founded the journal Genus which became the official journal of the Italian Committee for the Study of Population Problems.
- Gini also made significant innovations in statistics at the University of Rome.
- A Faculty of Political Science was set in the university in 1925 and Gini proposed the setting up of an Institute of Statistics and Economic Policy.
- In the years leading up to the Second World War, Gini received numerous Italian and international honours.
- Gini's position was not an easy one - he had been close to Mussolini and the Fascist government but he had also shown his opposition to some of their policies, particularly their racist policies, resigning some of his official positions because of government interference.
- Although acquitted of the most serious charges on 24th January 1945, Gini was suspended from all academic duties and his salary was not paid for one year.
- Gini and the High Commissioner in charge of the prosecution appealed, of course for opposite reasons, against this ruling, but the latter submitted his reasons after the deadline and the subsequent act of 17th December 1945 was "not to prosecute".
- Gini survived virtually unscathed from that period and in 1946 he resumed his duties at the Faculty and in 1949 was again the President of the Italian Statistical Society, a position he held until his death.
- the Institute of Statistics directed by Gini, together with his other creation, that is the Italian Committee for Population Studies, practically too up the whole of the premises.
- Gini's assistants and some other professors used to work in small glass boxes, fitted with a microphone which Gini could use to listen and talk, but the occupier of the box could only reply if spoken to.
- As for the university students, Gini was practically unapproachable.
- Gini retired from his chair at La Sapienza in 1954 but continued to carry out most of his other tasks such as running Metron and continuing to publish numerous articles.
- We have detailed above some of the honours that were given to Gini before World War II.
Born 23 May 1884, Motta di Livenza, near Treviso, Italy. Died 13 March 1965, Rome, Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive