Events and Meetings of Italian Statistical Society, Statistics and Demography: the Legacy of Corrado Gini

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“Il polso di Gini”: the controversy with Luzzatto Fegiz about opinion-polls
Achille Puggioni, Alberto Baffigi

Last modified: 2015-09-05


Corrado Gini’s, the first Istat’s (Italian Central Institute of Statistics) President, has projected his shadow on the Italian statistical scholarship for a long time after his death. With some exceptions, this prevented so far an open debate on his interconnected ideological and methodological approaches. Contextualizion and analysis of his political message, and of its intersection with his methodological vision, is strongly needed. With this aim in mind, in this paper, we focus on Gini’s very contentious article on opinion polls he wrote in 1942, which is an implicit but overt attack against Pier Paolo Luzzatto Fegiz pioneering activity in that field. In Gini’s article, his authoritarian views are made explicit, along with his high level scientific standing. The Gini-Luzzatto Fegiz controversy is also important for his meaningfully condensing important tensions crossing the history of Italian statistics until post WWII.

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