(1848-1923) Italian economist and political philosopher. A vigorous opponent of socialism and liberalism, he justified inequality of income on the grounds of his empirical observation (Pareto’s law) that income distribution remained constant whatever efforts were made to change it.
Pareto was born in Paris. He produced the first account of society as a self-regulating and interdependent system that operates independently of human attempts at voluntary control.
A founder of welfare economics, he put forward a concept of “optimality”, which contends that optimum conditions exist in an economic system if no one can be made better off without at least one other person becoming worse off.