While modern black names show up in modern empirical studies as an albatross around the neck of those possessing them, either because those receiving black names come from worse socioeconomic conditions or face discrimination later in life, historical black names conveyed a large advantage accumulating over an individual’s lifetime. Further studying the effects of historical and modern black names will help us explore the interactions between family, signifiers of race, and long-term outcomes. A world without the WTO: what’s at stake? (2011) present evidence of discrimination in assessment of National Institutes of Health grants based on racial and ethnic associations based on applicants’ names. Figlio, D N (2005), “Names, Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap, No. w11195, National Bureau of Economic Research. Those with a distinctively black name live, on average, between 4 years (North Carolina) and 11 years (Missouri) longer than those without distinctively black names. [Added October 6, 2017]. Frontiers of economic research, Tags:  Cook, L D (2012), “Overcoming Discrimination by Consumers during the Age of Segregation: The Example of Garrett Morgan”, Business History Review 86: 2, Summer. Brown, black, grey and white are descriptive names (of hair colour). Popular baby names by decade and states—US Social Security Administration; Most common male, female first and last names—US Census 1990; Top 1000 names, surnames occurring 100 or more times—US Census 2000; CMU AI Repository Names Corpus; External links "How Popular is Your Last Name?" )Here's the link for that pancocojams post about Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying": https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/05/two-examples-of-blues-song-sky-is, https://names.mongabay.com/data/black.html, https://www2.census.gov/topics/genealogy/2000surnames/surnames.pdf, https://www2.census.gov/topics/genealogy/2010surnames/surnames.pdf, https://www.census.gov/topics/population/genealogy/data/2000_surnames.html, https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/05/50-most-common-african-american.html, https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/05/two-examples-of-blues-song-sky-is. Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004) find that individuals with white-sounding names receive 50% more callbacks for interviews than individuals with black-sounding names. 9 November - 14 December 2020 / Online / CEPR, the Graduate Institute Geneva, GSEM, UNCTAD and the World Trade Organization. The first mechanism is a product of individuals with distinctively black names coming from households of lower socioeconomic status on average. Akerlof, G A, and R E Kranton (2000), “Economics and Identity”, Quarterly Journal of Economics: 715-753. Now that we know distinctively black names existed in the past, we can investigate their effects on outcomes. This column highlights a striking difference between the historical effects of having a black name and today’s effects. Understanding these relationships could lay the groundwork for more effective policy to reduce persistent racial gaps in outcomes. The names identified by Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004) in Table 1 are similar to those found by Fryer and Levitt (2004). Privacy Policy. Pancocojams showcases the music, dances, language practices, & customs of African Americans and of other people of Black descent throughout the world. Black names then serve as a proxy for childhood conditions that strongly influence outcomes. There was a sharp rise in the distinctiveness of black names in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As Table 1 shows, the distinctively black names themselves, however, are quite different. The different nature of historical distinctively black names raises the question of whether they also had different consequences for their holders.Notes – the late-20th Century names are the black male names used in Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004), the late-19th and early-20th Century names are from Cook et al. 13. (2012) find patterns of racial (and gender) discrimination based on names in professors’ responses to prospective doctoral students. Life expectancy, black males and black names: 1802-1970. Share Flipboard Email Print ThoughtCo / Vin Ganapathy History & Culture. Much research has gone into trying to establish a connection in the US between having a distinctively black name and disadvantage over a lifetime. Notes: the late-20th Century names are the black male names used in Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004), the late-19th and early-20th Century names are from Cook et al. While modern black names show up in modern empirical studies as an albatross around the neck of those possessing them, either because those receiving black names come from worse socioeconomic conditions or face discrimination later in life, historical black names conveyed a large advantage accumulating over an individual’s lifetime. The historical distinctively black names are quite different from these modern names. Milkman et al. It is derived from the word ‘Both,’ which was used to denote various types of shelter such as a herdsman’s dwelling on a summer pasture. The evidence on black naming patterns has come largely from modern social security, birth certificate and hospital data. Covid-19 and School Closures: Can pupils make up for lost time? Source: Cook, Logan and Parman 2015.Note: Years are 1908-59, AL' 1916-47, IL; 1802-1910, MO; 1910-70, NC. During this period, these names were only weakly correlated with socioeconomic status. This last name belongs to the 12th Century and is derived from ‘Benedict’ or ‘Benedictus’ in Latin, which means ‘Blessed’. The economics of insurance and its borders with general finance, Maturity mismatch stretching: Banking has taken a wrong turn. The availability of these data sources is limited to recent decades, essentially the 1960s onward. This suggests that the benefits of a distinctively black name accumulated over the lifetime of the individual. 20 Jamaican Last Names That’ll Make You Wanna Visit Kingston. An interesting strand of this research has documented correlations between possessing a distinctively black name and success at school and in the labour market. Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History … I decided to publish this adapted "chart" about surname rankings in the United States after publishing a pancocojams post about Elmore James' Blues song "The Sky Is Crying"*. 14. The strikingly different historical effects of black names raise questions about the effects of names and the family and community conditions that give rise to them. This is highlighted by the work of Fryer and Levitt (2004) documenting that, while black names are correlated with lower income, greater likelihood of single motherhood, having low-birthweight children, and a host of other indicators of worse adult outcomes, these correlations largely disappear once controlling for the childhood conditions of the individual. These records reveal that distinctively black names existed long before the Civil Rights movement. Bertrand, M, and S Mullainathan (2004), “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? We use cookies to collect information from your browser to personalize content and perform site analytics. Table 1. Actually, Elmore James' last name is a stage name and Etta James' name was formed by her first name "Jamesetta". Booth . If you’re interested in the last names and meanings of other countries, check out our package on last names from around the world. 2015). The second mechanism is discrimination, with potential employers, reviewers, teachers, and others treating individuals differently on the basis of their given names. (2014). Top 100 Most Common Last Names in the United States Find out if yours is one of America's most popular surnames. Distinctively black names, past and present. Under this traditional narrative, distinctively black names emerge from the Civil Rights Movement. On occasion, we also use cookies to collect information from our toddlers, but that’s a totally different thing. In the words of Fryer and Levitt, these findings suggest that “carrying a black name is primarily a consequence rather than a cause of poverty”. (2014) have used historical federal census records and death certificates from Illinois, Alabama and North Carolina to identify a set of names commonly held among black males and disproportionately held by black males relative to white males. Empirical testing of this hypothesis and others is a daunting but necessary future task. With the digitisation of historical census and death records, it is now possible to examine large samples of names and outcomes going back over a century to test whether black names are truly a modern phenomenon or whether they have much older historical roots. During this time, it was very common for immigrants to change their children's names to better assimilate into American culture. Green is a toponym (from village green). Addendum #1: presents an excerpt from a pdf entitled "Putting a Demographic Face on Names from Census 2000". Booth is the last name most popular in Northern England and Scandinavia. Publishing and evaluating success in economics: A new eBook, Race and Covid-19: The long-run impact of discrimination, CEPR International Virtual Organization Economics Seminars - Seminar 7 - The Dynamics of Norm Formation and Norm Decay, CEPR Advanced Forum in Financial Economics, CEPR Household Finance Seminar Series - 10, Homeownership of immigrants in France: selection effects related to international migration flows, Climate Change and Long-Run Discount Rates: Evidence from Real Estate, The Permanent Effects of Fiscal Consolidations, Demographics and the Secular Stagnation Hypothesis in Europe, QE and the Bank Lending Channel in the United Kingdom, Independent report on the Greek official debt, Rebooting the Eurozone: Step 1 – Agreeing a Crisis narrative. Milkman, K L, M Akinola and D Chugh (2012), “Temporal Distance and Discrimination: An Audit Study in Academia”, Psychological Science 23: 710-717. In particular, scholars have posited that the rise of distinctively black names may be attributable to the Black Power movement and the later black cultural movement of the 1990s as a way to affirm and embrace black culture, consistent with Akerlof and Kranton’s (2000) economic model of social identity. Cook, L D (2011), “Inventing Social Capital:  Evidence from African American Inventors, 1843-1930”, Explorations in Economic History 48: 4: 507-518, December. Consequently, explanations of the origins of distinctively black names have been focused on modern stories. Extensive work has been carried out to explain the causes of racial gaps in socioeconomic outcomes and to identify effective policy solutions for closing those gaps. These stronger social networks could help an individual weather negative shocks throughout life, ultimately leading to far better long-term outcomes, as demonstrated in Cook (2011, 2012). In the course of documenting the causes and consequences of distinctively black names, the existing literature has maintained that they are a distinctly modern phenomenon. Figlio (2005) suggests that discrimination on the basis of names takes place even earlier, with teachers setting lower expectations for pupils with black names and those lower expectations translating into lower test scores.