Long-Term Trends in Personal Given Name Frequencies in the UK
16 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2003
Date Written: July 20, 2002
The frequency distribution of personal given names offers important evidence about the information economy. This paper presents data on the popularity of the most frequent personal given names (first names) in the UK over the past millennium. The popularity of a name is its frequency relative to the total name instances sampled. The data show that the popularity distribution of names, like the popularity of other symbols and artifacts associated with the information economy, can be helpfully viewed as a power law. Moreover, the data on name popularity suggest that historically distinctive changes in the information economy occurred in conjunction with the Industrial Revolution.
Keywords: Information economy, new economy, personalization, symbolic economics, power law
JEL Classification: N0, O4, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation