What's in a name? Quite a lot it seems

Gregory Clark interviewed by Viv Davies, 4 Apr 2014

Gregory Clark talks to Viv Davies about his new book titled "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility". Using surname data from eight countries, the study concludes that fate and social status is determined by ancestry and that social mobility rates are lower than conventionally estimated, they do not vary across societies and are resistant to social policies. Effectively, capitalism has not led to pervasive, rapid mobility. The interview was recorded in London in March 2014.


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See Also

Clark,G., N Cummins, H Yu, and D Diaz Vidal (2014) The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, Princeton University Press.



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Topics: Poverty and income inequality
Tags: education, Intergenerational Mobility, social mobility

Drinking during pregnancy and children’s test scores

Sarah Lewis, Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, George L Wehby, Luisa Zuccolo, 8 March 2014



The US Surgeon General first published a report on drinking during pregnancy in 1981, drawing attention to the link between prenatal alcohol consumption and birth defects (Office of the US Surgeon General 1981).

Topics: Health economics
Tags: alcohol, education, pregnancy

More time spent on television and video games, less time spent on studying?

Tomohiko Inui, Ryoji Matsuoka, Makiko Nakamuro, 16 January 2014



Many parents believe that TV and video games are ‘idiot boxes’ that rot their children’s minds and crowd out study time. We agree with this general perception, but add the caveat that less time spent on TV or video games does not automatically lead to more time spent on studying. It is easy to detect the correlation but harder to determine causality.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, Japan, TV, videogames

Democracy in Africa

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 17 November 2013



A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Until the second half of the 19th century, there were so few democratic states around the world that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, anocracy, autocracy, Corruption, democracy, education, fertility, growth, life expectancy

Understanding the mechanisms underlying peer group effects: The role of friendships in determining adolescent outcomes

Jason Fletcher, Stephen L. Ross, 3 November 2013



Over the last decade, research on peer effects in secondary education has flourished – in part because of the within-school/across-cohort design for identifying peer effects popularised in early work by Hoxby (2000), and partly due to the increasing availability of quality data on K-12 students in the US and internationally.

Topics: Education, Gender
Tags: discipline, disruption, education, Peer Effects

Do elite universities admit the academically best students?

Debopam Bhattacharya, 13 April 2013



The undergraduate admissions process at elite universities, owing to its implications for socioeconomic mobility, is subjected to significant public scrutiny in the UK.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, elite universities, UK

The trend reversal in income inequality and returns to education: How bad is this good news for Latin America?

Augusto de la Torre, Julián Messina, 7 March 2013



Latin America witnessed unprecedented economic and social achievements during the last decade. In particular, the year 2003 appears as an important inflexion point for the region’s economic history, a point that we have highlighted in several World Bank publications1.

Topics: Labour markets
Tags: education, income inequality, Latin America

The long-run gains of not mixing genders in high-school classes

Massimo Anelli, Giovanni Peri, 23 February 2013



Gender gap in college majors and earnings

Topics: Education, Gender, Labour markets
Tags: education, gender, Italy, labour, wages, women

The reduction of school days in Japan increased educational inequality

Daiji Kawaguchi, 2 February 2013



One of the major objectives of compulsory education is to assure uniform educational opportunities for all children regardless of their socioeconomic background. For that reason, most advanced countries provide compulsory education as well as textbooks free of charge.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, Japan, university

Diversifying Russia

Simon Commander, Alexander Plekhanov, 29 January 2013



Russia aims to diversify its economy, thereby moving away from its dependence on oil and gas. Despite much political rhetoric, our research (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2012) indicates that, to date, relatively little has been achieved. Oil and gas still account for nearly 70% of total merchandise exports and around a half of the federal budget.

Topics: Development
Tags: economic diversification, education, gas, oil, Russia, skills

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