IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7725.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization

Author

Listed:
  • Biavaschi, Costanza

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))

  • Giulietti, Corrado

    () (University of Southampton)

  • Siddique, Zahra

    () (University of Bristol)

Abstract

We examine the impact of the Americanization of names on the labor market outcomes of migrants. We construct a novel longitudinal data set of naturalization records in which we track a complete sample of migrants who naturalize by 1930. We find that migrants who Americanized their names experienced larger occupational upgrading. Some, such as those who changed to very popular American names like John or William, obtained gains in occupation-based earnings of at least 14%. We show that these estimates are causal effects by using an index of linguistic complexity based on Scrabble points as an instrumental variable that predicts name Americanization. We conclude that the tradeoff between individual identity and labor market success was present since the early making of modern America.

Suggested Citation

  • Biavaschi, Costanza & Giulietti, Corrado & Siddique, Zahra, 2013. "The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization," IZA Discussion Papers 7725, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7725
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7725.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-1856, August.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. Yann Algan & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2013. "The Economic Incentives of Cultural Transmission: Spatial Evidence from Naming Patterns across France," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/bakbbitll86, Sciences Po.
    4. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
    5. 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.
    6. Saku Aura & Gregory D. Hess, 2010. "What’S In A Name?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 214-227, January.
    7. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2014. "A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 467-506.
    8. Mahmood Arai & Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2009. "Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 127-147, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why americanize your name?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-12-13 21:02:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae (Simon) Lee & Hugo Reis, 2015. "Please call me John: name choice and the assimilation of immigrants in the United States, 1900-1930," CeMMAP working papers CWP28/15, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. repec:eee:exehis:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:37-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:29-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:exehis:v:72:y:2019:i:c:p:114-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nicodemo, Catia & Raya, Josep M., 2018. "Does Juan Carlos or Nelson Obtain a Larger Price Cut in the Spanish Housing Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 11811, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    8. repec:eee:regeco:v:77:y:2019:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Anna-Maria Balbach, 2018. "Die Scrabble-Score-Methode zur Messung sprachlicher Komplexität – Ein Test anhand von 90.000 Rufnamen aus dem SOEP," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 990, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Bastien Chabé-Ferret, 2016. "Adherence to Cultural Norms and Economic Incentives: Evidence from Fertility Timing Decisions," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    11. Nikoloz Kudashvili & Philipp Lergetporer, 2019. "Do Minorities Misrepresent Their Ethnicity to Avoid Discrimination?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7861, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Sekou Keita & Jérôme Valette, 2019. "Natives’ Attitudes and Immigrants’ Unemployment Durations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 1023-1050, June.
    13. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    14. repec:eee:jeborg:v:162:y:2019:i:c:p:24-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Kazutoshi Miyazawa & Hikaru Ogawa & Toshiki Tamai, 2018. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Sustainability," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1104, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    16. Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2019. "Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-122.
    17. Zachary Ward, 2016. "The Role of English Fluency in Migrant Assimilation: Evidence from United States History," CEH Discussion Papers 049, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    18. Vasiliki Fouka & Soumyajit Mazumder & Marco Tabellini, 2018. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," Harvard Business School Working Papers 19-018, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2019.
    19. repec:cup:jechis:v:78:y:2018:i:03:p:904-937_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Altangerel, Khulan, 2019. "Essays on immigration policy," Other publications TiSEM 954c6300-249e-496c-8cef-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    21. Sato, Yasuhiro & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Assimilation Patterns in Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 13364, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Ariu, Andrea & Docquier, Frédéric & Squicciarini, Mara P., 2016. "Governance quality and net migration flows," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 238-248.
    23. Alexander, Rohan & Ward, Zachary, 2018. "Age at Arrival and Assimilation During the Age of Mass Migration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 904-937, September.
    24. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2014. "Alphabetical Order Effects in School Admissions," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp509, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Americanization; names; assimilation; migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:iza:izadps:dp7725. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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.