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What'S In A Name?

Author

Listed:
  • SAKU AURA
  • GREGORY D. HESS

Abstract

"This article analyzes two broad questions: Does your first name matter? And how did you get your first name anyway? Using data from the National Opinion Research Centers General Social Survey, we find evidence that, even after controlling for a myriad of exogenous background factors, first name features are predictors of many lifetime economic outcomes that are related to labor productivity such as education, happiness, and early fertility. However, we also find evidence, based on the differential impacts of gender and race on the "blackness" of a name, that identity could be an important channel for linking first name to lifetime economic outcomes." ("JEL" D1, J1, J7) Copyright (c) 2008 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What'S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:214-227
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2008.00171.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2006. "Giving up Foreign Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," Research Papers in Economics 2006:13, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    3. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    5. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805.
    6. Richard Woodward, 2005. "Do Americans Desire Homogeneity? Evidence from Names from 1900-2000," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(9), pages 1-6.
    7. Levy, David M, 1997. "Adam Smith's Rational Choice Linguistics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 672-678, July.
    8. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stepan Jurajda & Dejan Kovac, 2016. "What's in a Name in a War," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp573, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Franklin Mixon & Richard Cebula, 2012. "More is More: Some Economics of Distinctively-Named White Kids," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(1), pages 39-47, March.
    3. Jurajda, Stepán & Münich, Daniel, 2010. "Admission to selective schools, alphabetically," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1100-1109, December.
    4. Costanza Biavaschi & Corrado Giulietti & Zahra Siddique, 2013. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2013-08, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    5. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2014. "Candidate Ballot Information and Election Outcomes: The Czech Case," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp500, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. Solow, Benjamin L. & Solow, John L. & Walker, Todd B., 2011. "Moving on up: The Rooney rule and minority hiring in the NFL," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 332-337, June.
    7. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Identity and racial harassment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 529-557, June.
    8. Costanza Biavaschi & Corrado Giulietti & Zahra Siddique, 2017. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(4), pages 1089-1116.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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