Precedence and Wealth: Evidence from Nineteenth Century Utah
NBER Historical Working Paper No. 22
Earlier work has established a strong positive relationship between a household's wealth and its duration in the local economy. This paper explores the possible connection between the magnitude of this wealth/duration relationship and the community's precedence rate--the percentage of households in a given year (1870) present in the same locale in an earlier year (1860). We hypothesize that a low precedence rate will be associated with a high return to the household's duration in the local economy, controlling for the size of the local population. This hypothesis is tested and tentatively confirmed for the counties of Utah in 1870. We also find that a low precedence rate is associated with increased inequality.