IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do names matter? The influence of names on perception about professionals in Spain


  • Jose A. Martinez


The aim of this research was to empirically prove if different types of names and surnames influence people’s perception about the performance of professionals such as psychologists, architects, writers or lawyers. However, across a series of studies using both convenience and random sampling, and employing different performance measures, this research shows that personal names and surnames do not matter. Therefore, common wisdom such as: (1) two surnames are better than one; (2) a name with ridiculous associations should be avoided; (3) names denoting status and distinctiveness are better than common names for high-status professions; are not supported by data. Consequently, results break with the hypothesized marketing belief that brand names may influence perceptions about products.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose A. Martinez, 2013. "Do names matter? The influence of names on perception about professionals in Spain," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 66-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:ove:journl:aid:9898

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. M. Dolores Collado & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín & Andrés Romeu, 2008. "Surnames and social status in Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 32(3), pages 259-287, September.
    3. Gaviria, Alejandro & Medina, Carlos & Palau, María del Mar, 2010. "Las consecuencias económicas de un nombre atípico. El caso colombiano," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(307), pages 535-556, julio-sep.
    4. 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.
    5. James W. Hardin & Joseph W. Hilbe, 2012. "Generalized Linear Models and Extensions, 3rd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number glmext, December.
    6. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ove:journl:aid:9898. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Francisco J. Delgado) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.