Max O. Lorenz

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Max O. Lorenz
Born(1876-09-19)September 19, 1876
DiedJuly 1, 1959(1959-07-01) (aged 82)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Iowa
Balthasar H. Meyer
ContributionsLorenz curve

Max Otto Lorenz (/ˈlɒrənts/; September 19, 1876 – July 1, 1959) was an American economist who developed the Lorenz curve in 1905 to describe income inequalities. He published this paper when he was a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1] His doctorate (1906) was on 'The Economic Theory of Railroad Rates' and made no reference to perhaps his most famous paper. The term "Lorenz curve" for the measure Lorenz invented was coined by Willford I. King in 1912.

He was of German ancestry, his father having been born in Essen in the Rhine Province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1841.[2]

He was active in both publishing and teaching and was at various times employed by the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Railway Economics, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1917 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[3]

He was married to his wife Nellie, and he fathered 3 sons.

External links[edit]

  • Lorenz, M. O. (1905). Methods of measuring the concentration of wealth Publications of the American Statistical Association. Vol. 9 (New Series, No. 70) 209–219.doi:10.2307/2276207
  • Richard T. Ely, Adams, Thomas A. Adams, Max O. Lorenz, and Allyn Young (1908). Outlines of Economics. New York: Macmillan.
  • King, W.I. (1912). The Elements of Statistical Method. New York: Macmillan.
  • A discussion of generalised Lorenz curves: [1]
  • Some history of economists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison school around John R. Commons: [2]
  • Christian Kleiber and Samuel Kotz (2003). Statistical Size Distributions in Economics and Actuarial Sciences. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics. Wiley. p. 263. doi:10.1002/0471457175. ISBN 978-0-471-15064-0.
  • "Max O. Lorenz". JSTOR.


  1. ^ Lampman, Robert J., ed. (1993). Economics at Wisconsin 1892–1992. Madison. p. 28.
  2. ^ Kleiber, Christian; Kotz, Samuel (2003-10-24). Statistical Size Distributions in Economics and Actuarial Sciences. ISBN 9780471457169.
  3. ^ List of ASA Fellows, retrieved 2016-07-16.