Are Scandinavian countries really better at breaking the cycle of social inheritance? And how much can society change its level of social mobility? These are questions that Professor Gregory Clark, one of the leading researchers in terms of studying the development of social mobility from a historical perspective, will look into when he comes to Denmark next year to continue his research funded by a DNRF Chair grant of DKK 10 million.
Professor Gregory Clark will work with researchers at the Department of Economics, University of Southern Denmark, and will be heading a project on social mobility and human capital in the Nordic countries.
One main purpose is to create a database of historical information that can be linked to the present day. The information will enable us to see where we come from and who our great-great-grandparents and generations before them were. With this knowledge, researchers can better assess the degree of social mobility between generations.
“It’s an exciting new opportunity for me. Denmark is an interesting country for studying social mobility because the Scandinavian countries have achieved a greater degree of social mobility compared to most countries. At the same time, Denmark has some of the most comprehensive data in the world, so I look forward to applying my methods in a Danish and Nordic context,” says Clark.
Clark has conducted research at Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, and over the past 32 years, he has helped create one of the world’s strongest programs in economic history at the University of California, Davis.
The DNRF Chair focuses on strengthening the Danish research environment by bringing together top international and Danish researchers in Denmark. The grant to the University of Southern Denmark marks the 10th time that the foundation has distributed this instrument.