Gini Coefficient


The Gini coefficient (G) is an index for measuring inequality. This entry reviews the use of the G since its appearance in the literature in 1914. It discusses how the Italian statistician Corrado Gini developed it. The entry highlights methodological aspects to explain the various formulas that can be used to calculate the G value and to show the links with the Lorenz curve and the mean difference. It also discusses how some scholars have come to the same results using different formulas of G, depending on the investigated subject. An application to real data is also provided in order to make the use of G simple and immediate. Finally, the extreme topicality of the Gini index is underlined by showing how it is currently used in fields other than economics—such as in archaeology, hydrology, insurance, biomedicine, geosciences, and to evaluate scientific productivity of universities and departments.

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