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Intergenerational mobility in England, 1858-2012. Wealth, surnames, and social mobility

Clark, Gregory and Cummins, Neil (2013) Intergenerational mobility in England, 1858-2012. Wealth, surnames, and social mobility. Economic History working paper series, 180/2013. Department of Economic History, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 180/2013

Abstract

This paper uses a panel of 21,618 people with rare surnames whose wealth is observed at death in England and Wales 1858-2012 to measure the intergeneration elasticity of wealth over five generations. We show, using rare surnames to track families, that wealth is much more persistent over generations than standard one generation estimates would suggest. There is still a significant correlation between the wealth of families five generations apart. We show that this finding can be reconciled with standard estimates of wealth mobility by positing an underlying Markov process of wealth inheritance with an intergenerational elasticity of 0.70-0.75 throughout the years 1858-2012. The enormous social and economic changes of this long period had surprisingly little effect on the strength of inheritance of wealth.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I23 - Higher Education Research Institutions
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J62 - Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2013 13:54
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2013 09:46
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/54513

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