Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What's in a name? Perhaps more (or less) money

Date:
March 11, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Before employers have a chance to judge job applicants on their merits, they may have already judged them on the sound of their names. According to a study published in the Journal of Labor Economics, immigrants to Sweden earn more money after they change their foreign-sounding names.

Before employers have a chance to judge job applicants on their merits, they may have already judged them on the sound of their names. According to a study published in the Journal of Labor Economics, immigrants to Sweden earn more money after they change their foreign-sounding names.

Related Articles


Study authors Mahmood Arai and Peter Skogman Thoursie (both of Stockholm University) found an earnings increase of 141 percent for a sample of African, Asian and Slavic immigrants who changed their names to be ethnically neutral or a bit more Swedish-sounding. The earnings increase is mostly due to individuals within the group who reported little or no earnings before the name change, but significantly more shortly afterwards, the authors say.

"[W]e believe [the name change effect] stems largely from improving one's chances of being called to a job interview and thus increasing employment probabilities," the authors write. "Employers might sort out the applicants with foreign-sounding names due to [notions] about abilities and characteristics assumed to be associated with such names."

Arai and Skogman Thoursie used a sample of 641 immigrants who registered a name-change with the Swedish government between 1991 and 2000. The researchers analyzed earnings in the three years before and three years after a name change using a statistical method that accounts for inflation and differences in earnings related to age or place of residence. The analysis showed that the increase in earnings generally occurred the year after a name change became final.

While the authors concede that there could be confounding factors in the data, they do not believe those factors affect their conclusion.

"It is reasonable to assume that individuals who change names … also try other strategies, such as an intensified job search, in order to improve their chances of employment and earnings," the researchers write. However, there is a time lag of one to two years between when application is made and a name change becomes final. There would be no reason, the authors argue, not to intensify the job search while the name change application is being processed. "If the [name change effect] is contaminated by … other strategies, we should observe an effect in the year before the actual name change."

No significant increase in earnings was found in the year before name changes became final.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arai et al. Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings. Journal of Labor Economics, 2009; 27 (1): 127 DOI: 10.1086/593964

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "What's in a name? Perhaps more (or less) money." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120357.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, March 11). What's in a name? Perhaps more (or less) money. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120357.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "What's in a name? Perhaps more (or less) money." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120357.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins