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Research of historical surnames suggests social mobility is low for generations

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In 1923 and 1924, thanks to a short-lived law allowing the publication of tax data, the New York Times reported the tax payments of more than 30,000 Americans. Some of the names of wealthier taxpayers on that list were rare, meaning that their descendants can be identified by name today — names such as Vanderbilt, Roosevelt and Winthrop. Generations later, in 2000, those same last names still...

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