What’s In a Name?

28 June 2006 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Speaking of Levitt, another of his characteristically quirky studies is this one on baby names (nontechnical summary here), showing that “distinctively black” names are indicators, not determinants, of socioeconomic status. Baron and Kreps summarize the literature on job titles and conclude, similarly, that titles are primarily signals, not drivers of job characteristics or performance (though titles can be important motivators).

I was thinking about names when watching a little Wimbledon this morning. (I grew up in the era of Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Edberg, etc., and remain a huge Wimbledon fan.) Former champion Maria Sharapova won her first-round match easily, dispatching clay-court specialist Anna Smashnova in straight sets. Smashnova — what a great name for a tennis player! (I’m considering changing my legal name to Publishnova.)

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera, Recommended Reading.

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