“Chile: Mobility among the Oligarchs,” in Gregory Clark, Daniel Diaz Vidal, et al. The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2014.
“Surnames: A new source for the history of social mobility” with Gregory Clark, Neil Cummins and Yu Hao Ma, Explorations in Economic History, 2015.
"The Nature of Assortative Mating: A Surname Analysis” Daniel Diaz Vidal and
Gregory Clark, Wabash College, UC Davis
How closely matched are spouses in terms of social status? Studies that look at the spousal correlation in characteristics like education, intelligence, health, income and occupation find correlations in the range 0.2-0.6. If the matching is based on these characteristics the correlation of underlying genotypes will be much lower. Thus genetic correlations between a parent and subsequent generations will decline by nearly a half each generation. However, here we present evidence that the correlation of spouses on underlying characteristics is actually stronger than on individual elements of the phenotype. Thus the genetic correlation between spouses may indeed be high enough to make the genetic correlation between a parents and descendants high even across multiple generations.
“Social Mobility Rates in Chile, 1940-2004: A surname Analysis of Social Mobility”, Daniel Diaz Vidal and Gregory Clark, Wabash College and UC Davis
Using rare and ethnic surnames we track the economic status of a set of historically pre-selected socioeconomic groups in Chile with idiosyncratic wealth and social characteristics through the 20th century. The pre identification of individuals as belonging to specific socioeconomic groups provides results that are not biased by traditional measurement error. We find that Social Mobility rates in Chile are not significantly lower than those of Sweden or the UK and relatively high in the Latin American context.
“Social Mobility in Costa Rica, 1850-2000: A Surname Analysis”
Using rare and ethnic surnames I measure the economic status of a set of historically pre-selected socioeconomic groups in Costa Rica with idiosyncratic wealth and social characteristics through the 19th and 20th centuries. The pre-identification of individuals as belonging to specific socioeconomic groups provides results that are not biased by traditional measurement error. I find that Social Mobility rates in Costa Rica are not significantly higher than those calculated, using surname analysis, for Chile, Sweden or the UK. The results also indicate relatively high persistence of status for Costa Ricans in the Central American context.
“Analyzing Academic and Post Academic Outcomes at Wabash College” - Presented at ISSOTL2015
This is a research project that will try to identify and study the dimensions of college life at Wabash College that have an influence in both the academic and the post academic outcomes of our students; the general purpose in mind is twofold: to efficiently allocate resources and also to assure prospective students that coming to Wabash will have a positive influence in their long term income and success. In the short run, we will integrate and expand the currently available data in order to produce historical results from information pertaining to our current alumni; furthermore, we will also recommend the implementation of new methods of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest for this kind of research. In the long run, the implementation of such procedures in a systematic way will enable us to better answer a wider array of research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes in a more insightful manner.
“An evaluation of spaced learning in economics”, Poster presentation at ISSOTL 2015
Four groups of 30 students taking introduction to economics are taught the same material by the same instructor. Two of the groups have already completed their coursework, which was designed and implemented using the traditional teaching and evaluation strategies. The two remaining groups will take 6 quizzes throughout the semester and a comprehensive final instead of two midterms and a comprehensive final. 40% of the credit obtainable in each quiz will pertain material covered since the previous quiz and the remaining 60% will be comprehensive. Furthermore, in the two later courses, the students will be assigned homework that is also partly comprehensive and podcasts regarding the contents of the course will be assigned two weeks after the relevant topics were covered. All four groups will be asked to retake an economics exam pertaining to their 101 material one year and 5 years after they completed the coursework to test how assessment and learning spacing during the course has affected their long term retention of the material.
According to my results, which are the basis for the graph to the left, the last socioeconomic echoes of the classic textbook social pyramid for colonial Chile would take about seven more generations to disappear. The privileged Spanish Encomenderos and the indigenous Mapuche, polar opposites in terms of socioeconomic status in the 16th century, still need 5-6 generations to meet in the average income.
Other Active Research Interests
- I am currently expanding the analysis of social mobility and assortative mating to other Latin American countries including, but not limited to: Brasil, Argentina and Peru. This research will lead to the publication of a a number of papers and, ultimately, of a book on the socioeconomic history of Latin America.
- I also intend to use surnames to study transatlantic returns to migration and I am particularly looking into German migration to Chile and Brasil.
- I continue to try to improve my teaching and to be an active participant in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. I plan to expand the two projects I currently have
- In addition to the above lines of research, I have also been working on a paper that will study the relationships between economic growth, openness to trade and tariffs during the last part of the 19th century. This paper contributes to the literature as it expands the current dataset traditionally used in this type of analysis to the last part of the 19th century, and also as it addresses the potential endogeneity of trade and of tariffs in the analysis of differential rates of economic growth.