What’s in a Name?

14 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2010

See all articles by Saku Aura

Saku Aura

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Gregory D. Hess

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

This article analyzes two broad questions: Does your first name matter? And how did you get your first name anyway? Using data from the National Opinion Research Centers General Social Survey, we find evidence that, even after controlling for a myriad of exogenous background factors, first name features are predictors of many lifetime economic outcomes that are related to labor productivity such as education, happiness, and early fertility. However, we also find evidence, based on the differential impacts of gender and race on the “blackness” of a name, that identity could be an important channel for linking first name to lifetime economic outcomes.

JEL Classification: D1, J1, J7

Suggested Citation

Aura, Saku and HESS, GREGORY D., What’s in a Name?. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 48, Issue 1, pp. 214-227, January 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1542273 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2008.00171.x

Saku Aura (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

GREGORY D. HESS

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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