Was There Ever a Ruling Class? A Proposal for the study of 800 Years of Social Mobility
This 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.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 5, 28049 Madrid|
Web page: http://www.uam.es/departamentos/economicas/analecon/default.html
More information through EDIRC
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, .
"Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006.
"Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England,"
615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Becker, Gary S, 1988.
"Family Economics and Macro Behavior,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 1-13, March.
- Gary S. Becker, . "Family Economics and Macro Behavior," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-16, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- 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.
- 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.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uam:wpapeh:200904. See general 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: (Patricio Sáiz)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.