Saturday, 12 February 2011

Rhymes and randomness, Gini and Mussolini?

The Gini coefficient is a common measure of variability with popular applications to inequality in income or wealth.

It is named after its inventor, the Italian statistician Corrado Gini. He was also demographer and sociologist. In addition, he was active in policy in his time and lent his skills to help enhancing fascit theory. He wrote The Scientific Basis of Fascism which was published in the Political Science Quarterly in 1927.

I cannot help writing the following questions which have been spinning in my head since I have read Gini's article:
  1. Should 21st century policy-makers keep supporting multidisciplinary research and if so, by steering it in what direction? I will offer a temptative answer with a forthcoming blog entry on Max Weber.
  2. Who was the editor of Political Science Quarterly in 1927? Did the article by Gini go through a thorough referee process? It is a well written piece but the conclusions are rather speculative.
  3. Are such contributions to theory driven by the "holes" in medical, scientific knowledge as well as in social sciences? To what extent has such contribution helped to fill the hole rather than increasing its size?

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