OTIS DUDLEY DUNCAN, University of Michigan
THE JUXTAPOSITION of themes -- social mobility and economic development -- in the title of the conference may invite acceptance of an unwarranted assumption. In point of fact there is and can be no fixed and determinate general relationship between measures of economic growth and indexes of social mobility, either over time in one country or between countries at a point in time. A whole set of auxiliary postulates, each empirically contingent, must be adopted before a relation between mobility and growth can be deduced.
The work of Kuznets, Clark and others has indeed supported the proposition that economic growth, in the sense of sustained increase in output per capita, is accompanied by a redistribution of the working force by functional categories -- industries or occupations. Yet, such a proposition, even if accepted as an axiom, implies very little about the kinds, amounts, and patterns of social mobility that will be observed during a sequence of economic growth.
To see why this must be so, consider observations on an economy taken at two times, t0 and t1. Let the functional distribution of the working force be described as the frequency of employment in each of k classes (including, possibly, null frequencies for some classes). If we____________________