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

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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.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2006_0013
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    1. Foreign sounding names get you fewer job interviews?
      by Chris Blattman in Chris Blattman on 2010-10-27 07:47:54

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
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    3. Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What’S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.
    4. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    5. Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What’S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethnic discrimination; earnings development; name change;
    All these keywords.

    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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