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Ernst Engel Edit Profile

economist , statistician

Ernst Engel was a German statistician.


ENGEL, Ernst was born in 1821 in Germany.


Student, l’Ecole des Mines, Paris.


From 1854 to 1854 in all of Saxony Ernst Engel was considered to be the head of the statistical department. His job in this position was to be able to figure a relation between labor and trade. He is considered to be the first ever paid by a government to organize an organization called Industrial Exhibition of Leipzig. This organization was the first of its kind devoted to economics and probability for the Saxons economy.

Besides founding the first government funded statistical organization in history he also created many theories and discovered many laws. He wrote a few books on statistics containing many formulas and theorems related to statistics.

Engel, as one of the founders of the German historical school of economics, was dealing with the big issues—balancing the interests of exploited labourers and their capitalist exploiters, understanding the relationship between the state and the citizen, explaining the dynamics of poverty at the household and community level—while for several decades being the leading state-employed statistician in nascent and then created Germany (with a short break to establish a pioneering mortgage insurance society in Dresden).


  • His major contribution to statistics is the discovery of a law and a curve which both were named after him. They were Engel’s Law and Engel’s Curve. The curve is based off of the relationship between various quantities of a good a buyer will buy at varying income levels. The law states that with rising incomes the people spend less percentage of money on necessities which results in more spending money.

    Among Engel’s other contributions was his examination of the relationship between the size of the Prussian rye harvest and the average price of rye over a number of years prior to 1860. This was probably the first empirical study of the relationship between price and supply that underlies the theory of demand in contemporary price theory.


  • book

    • The Cost Value of Man (Der Werth des Menschen), 1883

    • Die Lebenskosten belgischer Arbeiterfamilien frueher und jetzt. Ermittelt aus Familienhaushaltsrechnungen und vergleichend zusammengestellt. Dresden: C. Heinrich (1895)

    • Die Beschlüsse des Internationalen Statistischen Congresses: in seiner V. Sitzungsperiode, 1863

  • Other Work