A person’s last name may be a determining factor in their lifelong success, according to NPR.
Social scientists have wondered for years whether social mobility or one’s ability to move up (or down) in society is controlled by family history or individual effort.
Gregory Clark, an economic historian from the University of California, discovered that the status of a surname has an impact on an individual’s wealth.
“We can’t predict the individual aspects of where you’ll end up, but if we want to rank you overall in society, maybe as much as 60 percent of the outcome is determined at the time of conception,” Clark told NPR.
Clark found that even distant relatives across several nations were often in the same status positions, regardless of a variety of other factors.
“It is shocking that the number is as constant as it is,” Joseph Ferrie, an economic historian at Northwestern University who’s been following Clark’s work, told NPR.
Previous studies only looked at a couple of generations, but Clark’s research across several generations shows that individuals don’t change their economic status as much as was previously believed.
Families do, however, move up the social ladders, it just takes a few centuries.
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains