From Lawyer to Judge: Advancement, Sex, and Name-Calling

39 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2009

See all articles by Bentley Coffey

Bentley Coffey

Clemson University

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: January 25, 2009

Abstract

This paper provides the first empirical test of the Portia Hypothesis: females with masculine monikers are more successful in legal careers. Utilizing South Carolina microdata, we look for correlation between an individual's advancement to a judgeship and his/her name's masculinity, which we construct from the joint empirical distribution of names and gender in the state's entire population of registered voters. We find robust evidence that nominally masculine females are favored over other females. Hence, our results support the Portia Hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

Coffey, Bentley and McLaughlin, Patrick A., From Lawyer to Judge: Advancement, Sex, and Name-Calling (January 25, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1348280 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1348280

Bentley Coffey (Contact Author)

Clemson University ( email )

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-9670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickamclaughlin.com

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