Pareto principle
Put in terms of preferences, this is the principle that (i) if everyone in a society is indifferent between two alternatives then the society should be indifferent as well, and (ii) if at least one individual prefers x to y, and everyone else regards x as at least as good as y, then the society prefers x to y . When (ii) is satisfied x is Pareto-wise better than y, or a Pareto improvement over y . A choice is described as Pareto optimal if there is no alternative that is Pareto-wise better; that is, there is no alternative that everyone will regard as at least as good, and which at least one person will regard as better. The principle can also be stated in terms of well-being rather than preferences. Whether the Pareto principle delivers a social welfare function clearly depends on how unanimous the members of the society are. The great advantage of Pareto optimality is that no interpersonal comparisons of utility are needed in the application of the principle; it therefore avoids problems connected with the strength of preferences. The weakness of basing policy on the principle is that it tends to favour the status quo, since only one dissent is sufficient to prevent a change from being a Pareto improvement.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pareto principle — The Pareto principle (also known as the 80 20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Business management thinker Joseph M. Juran suggested …   Wikipedia

  • Pareto Principle — A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put… …   Investment dictionary

  • Pareto principle — A principle of welfare economics derived from the writings of Vilfredo Pareto , which states that a legitimate welfare improvement occurs when a particular change makes at least one person better off, without making any other person worse off. A… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Pareto principle — noun the principle that describes the phenomenon wherein a small percentage of a population accounts for a large proportion of a particular characteristic of that population e.g. that a small proportion of users account for a large proportion of… …   Wiktionary

  • Pareto principle — economic principle stating that an economic policy is desirable if it suits part of the population and does no harm to the rest …   English contemporary dictionary

  • the Pareto principle — UK US noun [S] (also Pareto s law , INFORMAL the 80/20 rule) ECONOMICS, WORKPLACE, PRODUCTION ► the idea that a small quantity of work or resources (= time, money, employees, etc.) can produce a large number of results: »The Pareto principle,… …   Financial and business terms

  • Pareto efficiency — Pareto efficiency, or Pareto optimality, is an important concept in economics with broad applications in game theory, engineering and the social sciences. The term is named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who used the concept in his… …   Wikipedia

  • principle — prin‧ci‧ple [ˈprɪnspl] noun 1. [countable, uncountable] a moral rule or set of ideas that makes you behave in a particular way: • The single European market works on market principles. • As a matter of principle (= a rule that is very important …   Financial and business terms

  • Pareto — can refer to:*Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923), Italian sociologist, economist and philosopher; *Paula Pareto (born 1986), Argentine judokaSeveral things named after Vilfredo Pareto:*Pareto chart, an ordered bar chart used in statistical quality… …   Wikipedia

  • Pareto analysis — is a statistical technique in decision making that is used for selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto principle the idea that by doing 20% of work you can generate 80% of the advantage… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”