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PARETO, Vilfredo.

Cours d’Économie Politique. Professé a l’Université de Lausanne.

Published: Lausanne: F. Rouge, Éditeur, Librairie de l'Université, 1896-97

Stock code: 84058

Price: £12,500

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First edition of Pareto’s first major work, inscribed by the author; “A Mr, le Dr Sülzer, Hommage amical, Vilfredo Pareto” to the title of each volume (see below). “Pareto’s aim in the Cours was ‘to provide an outline of economic science considered as a natural science based exclusively on facts'” (IESS). The main economic contribution of the work was its exposition of ‘Pareto’s Law’, “the idea of a definite proportion required among the factors of production in order to insure economically successful results … Pareto’s name is also associated with a law of the inequality of the distribution of wealth, based upon statistical data which show that the larger the fortune the smaller the number of those who possess it.” (Haney). The work’s resonance was impressive: “the large literature evoked by this publication … testifies conclusively to its importance and to its stimulating influence” (Schumpeter, p. 859n). The recipient, Dr. Georg Sülzer, was the author of Die wirtschaftlichen Grundgesetze in der Gegenwartsphase ihrer Entwicklung, published in Zürich in 1895, a work which, according to Lionel Robbins “ranks with Wicksteed’s [Common sense of political economy] as the forerunner of a school of thought which has come into prominence only in the last few years.”

2 volumes, octavo (221 140 mm). Contemporary quarter calf on marbled boards, spines decorated gilt in compartments, edges sprinkled. Housed in a brown morocco backed slipcase and chemise. Diagrams and tables to the text. Light browning, joints a little rubbed, a very good copy.

Bibliography: Einaudi 4294; IESS (1896–1897).

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