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Giving Up Foreign Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings

  • Arai, Mahmood

    ()

    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Skogman Thoursie, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

In this paper we compare the earnings development for a group of immigrants that changes their names to Swedish-sounding or neutral names with immigrants who retain their names from the same region of birth. Our results indicate that name-changers are apparently similar to name-keepers and the earnings before the name change is essentially the same for both groups. However, an earnings gap after the name change is observed. The earnings gap corresponds to on average approximately 26 percent. Our understanding of the data and our results is that the groups are similar before the name change and that the earnings gap after the name change should be attributed to the name change. Our results should be viewed as evidence of unequal treatment of immigrants and natives in the Swedish labor market.

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File URL: http://www.su.se/polopoly_fs/1.63296.1323349643!/menu/standard/file/SULCIS_WP20071.pdf
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Paper provided by Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS in its series SULCIS Working Papers with number 2007:1.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 20 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Arai, Mahmood and Peter Skogman Thoursie, 'Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings' in Journal of Labor Economics, 2009, pages 127-147.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2007_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Web page: http://www.su.se/sulcis

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  1. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 767-805, August.
  2. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  3. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," NBER Working Papers 5928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  5. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," NBER Working Papers 10175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nekby, Lena, 2002. "Employment Convergence of Immigrants and Natives in Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2002:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  7. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  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.
  9. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  10. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2006. "Evidence of Ethnic Discrimination in the Swedish Labor Market Using Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2281, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
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