Family ties that bind: Having the right surname sets you up for life

If your surname reveals that you descended from the “in” crowd in the England of 1066—the Norman Conquerors—then even now you are more likely than the average Brit to be upper class. To a surprising degree, the social status of your ancestors many generations in the past still exerts an influence on your life chances, say Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis, in the US and Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics in the UK. They used the Oxbridge attendance of people with rare English surnames (last names) to track social mobility from 1170 to 2012. In an article in Springer’s journal Human Nature, they show that social mobility in England has always been slow and today is not much greater than it was in pre-industrial times. —> Read More Here


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