Was There Ever a Ruling Class? A Proposal for the study of 800 Years of Social Mobility
AbstractThis paper reports on a preliminary investigation of surnames distributions as a measure long run social mobility. In England this suggests two surprising claims. First, England, all the way from the heart of the Middle Ages in 1250 to at least 1860, was a society without persistent social classes. It was a world of social mobility, with no permanent over-class and under-class, a world of complete equal opportunity. There was, however, a gain from being in the upper class in any generation in the form of leaving more copies of your DNA permanently in later populations. Second, signs of persistent social classes have only emerged in societies like England and the United States in recent years. Instead of moving from a world of immobility and class rigidity to a world of equal opportunity, we have moved in the opposite direction. KEY Classification-JEL: N33, N34, N62
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Asociación Española de Historia Económica in its journal Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association.
Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 02 ()
Intergenerational Mobility; Inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Clark, Gregory, 2009. "Was There Ever a Ruling Class? A Proposal for the study of 800 Years of Social Mobility," Working Papers in Economic History 2009/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994.
"Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families,"
in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
- Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
- Clark, Gregory, 2008. "In defense of the Malthusian interpretation of history," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 175-199, August.
- Clark, Gregory & Hamilton, Gillian, 2006.
"Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(03), pages 707-736, September.
- Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- E.A. Wasson, 1998. "The Penetration of New Wealth into the English Governing Class from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(1), pages 25-48, 02.
- Gary S. Becker, .
"Family Economics and Macro Behavior,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
87-16, Chicago - Population Research Center.
RePEc Biblio mentionsAs found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (José Antonio Miranda).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.