Gregory Clark's Latest: “The Inheritance Of Social Status: England, 1600 To 2022”
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Earlier: A Farewell To Alms: Why Did The Industrial Revolution Happen Where It Did?

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Class and Family

by Steve Sailer

June 28, 2023

One of the more fascinating scholarly oeuvres of the 21st century is economic historian Gregory Clark’s planned trilogy of books with bad Hemingway puns for titles.

In 2007 came Clark’s speculations on the causes of the Industrial Revolution, A Farewell to Alms, with its immodest subtitle, A Brief Economic History of the World.

Seven years later saw Clark’s The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, in which Clark pointed out that even 700 years after their invention, surnames continue to suggest statistically significant things about social status. For example, among the 25 most common last names in Britain, people named “Hamilton” are twice as likely to graduate from Oxford or Cambridge as people named “Smith” or “Jones.” …

Note that Clark’s goofy titles are applied to works of serious scholarship. Clark realized that the English system of wills and property titles represents a massive database for a quantitatively oriented economic historian. Unlike countries where all the existing property records were burned by invaders or revolutionaries, England has had continuity of legal protection of property rights going back roughly to the Domesday Book of 1086. …

On the other hand, Clark’s puns do suggest his lively mind. Nine years ago, I speculated that these two books were likely leading up a third to be titled For Whom the Bell Curve Tolls. And indeed, Clark has confirmed that was his plan.

So far, there’s no listing for his third book on Amazon, but on Monday Clark published a major article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: “The inheritance of social status: England, 1600 to 2022.”

Read the whole thing there.

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