“Historical Social Stratification and Mobility in Costa Rica, 1840-2006", Economic History Review, 2020
"Educating Beyond the Classroom: Alumni Giving and the Value of Campus Culture” with Thomas Pittz, Studies in Higher Education, 2018
“Surnames: A new source for the history of social mobility” with Gregory Clark, Neil Cummins and Yu Hao Ma, Explorations in Economic History, 2015.
"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, 2014.
"The Nature of Assortative Mating: A Surname Analysis” Daniel Diaz Vidal and
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.
"Experiential Learning in Economics via Commercial Video Game Simulation"This paper discusses how the commercial video game Civilization VI can be used as an experiential learning tool in the economics classroom. The game simulates the progress of civilizations over the past 6000 years of human history and can be used to cover principles of economics, economic history and economic growth theory. Students experience and learn the importance of natural resources, human capital, physical capital, technology, trade, government stability, property rights, geography and openness to trade to economic growth and development. The paper discusses specifically how the game relates to specific economic topics. The game is available in Mac, IOS, Windows, PS4 and most other platforms.
“Social Mobility Rates in Chile, 1940-2004: A surname Analysis of Social Mobility”, Daniel Diaz Vidal and Gregory Clark, University of Tampa 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.
“An evaluation of spaced learning in economics”
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.
"Economics Through Film: Thinking Like an Economist"
This paper analyses the pedagogical value of a course that uses the deliberate nature of film to teach students how to think like economists. The paper analyses how an instructor may use film not only to engage students and make lectures more appealing but to also change the way the students think about the world by critically evaluating all the elements that come together to create a cinematic experience. Different forms of qualitative evidence, such as student reactions to art, teaching evaluations or student interviews, are summarized, analyzed and presented in support of the use of the deliberate nature of films which touch on socioeconomic phenomena to teach economics.
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
- 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.
- Working on a study of transatlantic returns to migration, with a particular emphasis on German migration to Chile and Brasil.
- Several projects on economics education.
- Studying the Inca economy and society.