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

Author

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  • Arai, Mahmood

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Skogman Thoursie, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arai, Mahmood & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2006. "Giving Up Foreign Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," SULCIS Working Papers 2007:1, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2007_001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
    2. Nekby, Lena, 2002. "Employment Convergence of Immigrants and Natives in Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2002:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "Evidence of ethnic discrimination in the Swedish labor market using experimental data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 716-729, August.
    5. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What'S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.
    2. McKenzie, David & Ozler, Berk, 2011. "The impact of economics blogs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5783, The World Bank.
    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David McKenzie & Berk Özler, 2014. "Quantifying Some of the Impacts of Economics Blogs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 567-597.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethnic discrimination; earnings development; name change;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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