A new study published by the Bonn-based Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) explores beyond such anecdotes, providing solid evidence on the magnitude and consequences of this phenomenon.
Effect of Name Americanization on (Log) Occupational Score, by Name
Source: IZA Discussion Paper No. 7725
In a sample of migrants who naturalized to become American citizens in 1930, the authors find that a third of European migrants abandoned foreign-sounding names to adopt a popular American name. This widespread practice paid off: Migrants who Americanized their names achieved higher economic success than those who did not.
Digging through thousands of 1920s naturalization papers from New York City, the authors track a wide range of characteristics of more than 3,000 migrants naturalizing by 1930. Since migrants had to fill out two separate documents for the naturalization procedure, their characteristics can be observed over time. The authors' conclusions are based upon comparing migrants' economic success over time, between those who kept their original name and those who chose more American names.
The study shows that migrants who changed their name into popular American names such as William, John or Charles, earned at least 14 percent more than those who changed into less popular names (see figure). Name Americanization was more common among migrants who were likely low skilled, more discriminated against, or with less alternative means for socio-economic improvement.
"These findings are not only informative for Europe and the United States' historical memory of the period, but also show that migrants faced an important tradeoff between individual identity and labor market success in the early making of modern America," says IZA Research Director Corrado Giulietti. His co-author Costanza Biavaschi adds, "Despite migrant occupational upgrading being limited at the time, migrants adopted various strategies to climb the occupational ladder. We discovered that name Americanization is an effective but under-explored strategy."The analysis also considers the possibility that the choice of a new name reflected other factors related to migrants' experiences that could have also had an impact on economic success, such as differing levels of ambition or language acquisition. To isolate the economic payoff resulting from having a new name from that attributable to other factors, the authors note that migrants with names of certain linguistic complexity – measured by the Scrabble points of the name when arriving in the U.S. – decided to Americanize their names irrespective of other motivations. Using this strategy, the authors confirm that the name change as such caused better economic performance.
Mark Fallak | idw
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering