Corrado Gini

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Corrado Gini (May 23, 1884 – March 13, 1965) was an Italian statistician, demographer and sociologist who developed the Gini coefficient, a measure of the income inequality in a society. Gini was also a leading fascist theorist and ideologue who wrote The Scientific Basis of Fascism in 1927. Gini was a proponent of organicism and applied it to nations.[1]

Career[edit]

Gini was born on May 23, 1884, in Motta di Livenza, near Treviso, into an old landed family. He entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna, where in addition to law he studied mathematics, economics, and biology.

Gini's scientific work ran in two directions: towards the social sciences and towards statistics. His interests ranged well beyond the formal aspects of statistics—to the laws that govern biological and social phenomena.

His first published work was, Il sesso dal punto di vista statistico (1908). This work is a thorough review of the natal sex ratio, looking at past theories and at how new hypothesis fit the statistical data. In particular, it presents evidence that the tendency to produce one or the other sex of child is, to some extent, heritable.

In 1910, he acceded to the Chair of Statistics in the University of Cagliari and then at Padua in 1913.

He founded the statistical journal Metron in 1920, directing it until his death; it only accepted articles with practical applications.[citation needed]

He became a professor at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1925. At the University, he founded a lecture course on sociology, maintaining it until his retirement. He also set up the School of Statistics in 1928, and, in 1936, the Faculty of Statistical, Demographic and Actuarial Sciences.

In 1929, Gini founded the Italian Committee for the Study of Population Problems (Comitato italiano per lo studio dei problemi della popolazione) which, two years later, organised the first Population Congress in Rome.

In 1926, he was appointed President of the Central Institute of Statistics in Rome. This he organised as a single centre for Italian statistical services. He resigned in 1932 in protest at interference in his work by the fascist state.

Milestones during the rest of his career include:

  • In 1933 – vice president of the International Sociological Institute.
  • In 1934 – president of the Italian Genetics and Eugenics Society.
  • In 1935 – president of the International Federation of Eugenics Societies in Latin-language Countries.
  • In 1937 – president of the Italian Sociological Society.
  • In 1941 – president of the Italian Statistical Society.
  • In 1957 – Gold Medal for outstanding service to the Italian School.
  • In 1962 – National Member of the Accademia dei Lincei.

Italian Unionist Movement[edit]

On October 12, 1944, Gini joined with the Calabrian activist Santi Paladino, and fellow-statistician Ugo Damiani to found the Italian Unionist Movement, for which the emblem was the Stars and Stripes, the Italian flag and a world map. According to the three men, the Government of the United States should annex all free and democratic nations worldwide, thereby transforming itself into a world government, and allowing Washington DC to maintain Earth in a perpetual condition of peace. The party existed up to 1948 but had little success and its aims were not supported by the United States.

Organicism and nations[edit]

Gini was a proponent of organicism and saw nations as organic in nature.[1] Gini shared the view held by Oswald Spengler that populations go through a cycle of birth, growth, and decay.[1] Gini claimed that nations at a primitive level have a high birth rate, but, as they evolve, the upper classes birth rate drops while the lower class birth rate, while higher, will inevitably deplete as their stronger members emigrate, die in war, or enter into the upper classes.[1] If a nation continues on this path without resistance, Gini claimed the nation would enter a final decadent stage where the nation would degenerate as noted by decreasing birth rate, decreasing cultural output, and the lack of imperial conquest.[2] At this point, the decadent nation with its aging population can be overrun by a more youthful and vigorous nation.[2] Gini's organicist theories of nations and natality are believed to have influenced policies of Italian Fascism.[1]

Honours[edit]

The following honorary degrees were conferred upon him:

  • Economics by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan (1932),
  • Sociology by the University of Geneva (1934),
  • Sciences by Harvard University (1936),
  • Social Sciences by the University of Cordoba, Argentine (1963).

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Il sesso dal punto di vista statistica: le leggi della produzione dei sessi (1908)
  • Sulla misura della concentrazione e della variabilità dei caratteri (1914)
  • Quelques considérations au sujet de la construction des nombres indices des prix et des questions analogues (1924)
  • Memorie di metodologia statistica. Vol.1: Variabilità e Concentrazione (1955)
  • Memorie di metodologia statistica. Vol.2: Transvariazione (1960)
  • "The Scientific Basis of Fascism," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Mar., 1927), pp. 99–115 (17 pages) at JSTOR

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA. Pp. 40.
  2. ^ a b Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA. Pp. 41.

External links[edit]