Social Mobility in the Long-Run: An Analysis with Five Linked Generations in China 1300-1900
Carol Shiue (University of Colorado Boulder, Economics)
Monday, 10/23/2017, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. ARCHIVED EVENT
Location: 6050 ISR - Thompson
This paper uses a multigenerational perspective to analyze social mobility over the long-run. The data covers information on about 10,000 unique men who lived in Anhui Province, their wives, and their children, for seven lineages of between fourteen to twenty generations. Among the more than 40,000 individuals in the sample, the earliest recorded birth is in the year 1298, and the last recorded death is in the year 1925. I document a pattern of lower inequality and higher mobility, which is consistent with the timing of social and institutional change during this period. Further, educational inequality is an important mechanism that correlates with mobility differences over time. The paper shows a temporal "Great Gatsby curve", in which over 100 sub periods, times of greater inequality among men in the father's generation is correlated with periods of less mobility in the son's generation.
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Carol Shiue, PhD, Yale University, is a professor whose research interests are in the economic history of market development and trade in China, the political economy of famine relief, and long-run comparisons of living standards. Another focus of her research is on kinship organization and social mobility.