New study: overall life status depends not just from parents’ status but also from great-great-great-grandparents

February 24, 2014

According to The New York Times:

The fortunes of high-status families inexorably fall, and those of low-status families rise, toward the average — what social scientists call “regression to the mean” — but the process can take 10 to 15 generations (300 to 450 years), much longer than most social scientists have estimated in the past.

Because our findings run against the intuition that modernity, and in particular capitalism, has eroded the impact of ancestry on a person’s life chances, I need to explain how we arrived at them…

Where we will fall within the social spectrum is largely fated at birth.

To read the entire column in The New York Times, please click here.

Painting by Edward Lamson Henry

Painting by Edward Lamson Henry

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