Lorenz Curve


DEFINITION of 'Lorenz Curve'

A graphical representation of wealth distribution developed by American economist Max Lorenz in 1905. On the graph, a straight diagonal line represents perfect equality of wealth distribution; the Lorenz curve lies beneath it, showing the reality of wealth distribution. The difference between the straight line and the curved line is the amount of inequality of wealth distribution, a figure described by the Gini coefficient.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lorenz Curve'

The Lorenz curve can be used to show what percentage of a nation's residents possess what percentage of that nation's wealth. For example, it might show that the country's poorest 10% possess 2% of the country's wealth.

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