what are gini coefficients?

J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. rosserjb at jmu.edu
Mon Aug 21 13:48:33 PDT 2000


This is just a math technicality. Of course Pareto himself always said there was inequality. But for the right value of the exponent, the equation he cooked up can give an equal distribution. No big deal. Barkley Rosser -----Original Message----- From: Charles Brown <CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com> Date: Monday, August 21, 2000 3:57 PM Subject: Re: what are gini coefficients?

>>>> rosserjb at jmu.edu 08/21/00 01:49PM >>>
>To Charles [not copying your message on
>orders of "Miss Netiquette"]
> 1. There is no law or rule of what is the minimum proportion
>that the top couple percent will own, other than that it cannot
>be less than their couple percent.
> 2. There is no absolutely direct relation between the wealth
>distribution and the ownership and control of the capital stock,
>although obviously there tends to be. There are wealth distributions
>in socialist countries where the state owns the means of production.
>Some people own more stuff than others. There were always
>people in the former Soviet Union whose families owned all kinds
>of valuable stuff. None of it was stocks that gave ownership and
>control of the capital stock, however, although many of these
>people were in the nomenklatura and thus had more control (if
>not ownership) than those not in the nomenklatura.
> 3. Actually even an even distribution can be described
>mathematically as an extreme case of the Pareto distribution.
>CB: You lose me with number 3. I thought Pareto was showing at least some
concentration of wealth, some group having more than another. If everybody has the same amount, there is no concentration of wealth.

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