About Gregory Clark



Gregory Clark is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis.  He was born in Scotland, and received his BA in Philosophy and Economics from Cambridge University, and PhD in Economics from Harvard.  He previously was a faculty member at Stanford University, and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.  At the University of California his is chair of steering committee of the All-UC Group in Economic History, and a Research Associate of the Center for Poverty Research at Davis.  He also serves as the Chair of the Editorial Committee of the University of California Press.

His earlier research was on the nature and history of economic growth, and was summarized in his book A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (Princeton University Press, 2007).  His main current research is on the history and nature of social mobility.  His recent book, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility (Princeton University Press, 2014) showed, using surname evidence, that long run rates of social mobility are much lower than would be expected from measured of mobility across single generations.  These rates are also largely invariant across such different societies as medieval England, modern England, the modern USA, Chile, Sweden, Japan and China.  He is now investigating, using a seven generation genealogy of 67,000 people born in England 1750-2016, the reasons for this powerful persistence of status across generations, and the extent to which this represents nature versus nurture.


What Have We Learned From Social Mobility Research


Malthus to modernity: wealth, status, and fertility in England, 1500–1879