The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Pareto, Vilfredo (1848–1923)

  • Alan Kirman
Reference work entry


Pareto made major contributions to a wide range of subjects covering mathematical economics, statistics, sociology and many others. In economics his name is mainly associated with general equilibrium, welfare economics and ordinal utility. Yet he insisted on the need to confront economic theories with empirical data as his work on income distribution shows. Furthermore, he was far from convinced of the rationality of individual economic behavior. Yet these aspects of his work have been put one side and he is now regarded essentially as the forerunner of the axiomatic school which reached its zenith in the Arrow–Debreu model. This is paradoxical for the latter has been shown to provide no empirically falsifiable propositions.


Adaptive expectations Arrow–Debreu model of general equilibrium Barone, E. Cardinal and ordinal utility Central limit theorems Compensation principle Competitive equilibrium Convexity Economic cycles Edgeworth box Edgeworth, F.Y. Equivalent surplus Experimental methods in economics Falsificationism Fixed point theorems Free trade General equilibrium Homo economicus Hyperplanes Imperfect competition Income distribution Inequality Infant-industry protection Integrability Marginal utility of money Marshall, A. Mathematics and economics Monopolistic competition Multiple equilibria New Welfare Economics Non- tâtonnement process Ophelimity Ordinal utility Pantaleoni, M. Pareto efficiency Pareto optimality Pareto, V. Pareto’s law Partial equilibrium Perfect competition Positive economics Positivism Preferences Rationing Social optimum Social welfare function Socialism Surplus Tâtonnement Transitivity Utility Utility measurement Walras, L. Walras’s Law 

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Kirman
    • 1
  1. 1.