Friday, December 13, 2013

Why americanize your name?

Why do immigrants americanize their name? Evidently, they feel that this will help them integrate into the host society and bring them some advantages. It is well documented that the more integrated an immigrant is, or the more alike to a native she is, the more likely she is to find better jobs, earn higher wages, and feel better.

Costanza Biavaschi, Corrado Giulietti and Zahra Siddique analyze immigrants to the United States from the 1930's and find there can be a mighty pay-off. Those who chose the most common American name got up to 14% higher pay. And I like how they determined linguistic complexity of the names by using Scrabble points from the American version of the game.

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