I Would Never Date a Man Named Kelly: An Empirical Analysis of Name-Based Gender Discrimination

Cami Doman, University of Minnesota
Sami Heller, University of Minnesota
Jenna Herbrand, University of Minnesota
Jenna Swaney
Anneliese Ward, University of Minnesota

Although there is a vast body of evidence studying and suggesting the presence of gender discrimination, relatively little empirical research quantifies the impact of that discrimination by examining real-world, long-term outcomes among population-based samples. Understanding the consequences of gender discrimination allows researchers to more concretely and empirically understand the role of sexist biases in shaping life outcomes. Given the size and representativeness of our data set and the strength of our empirical strategy for quantifying discrimination, we are able to push beyond the limitations of previous discrimination literature. In this paper, we assess the effects of gender-based discrimination by examining the life outcomes of men with gender atypical or ambiguous names. Using femininity of a first name as a proxy for risk of gender-based discrimination, we track pairs of brothers from childhood to death, measuring outcomes such as occupation, income, educational attainment, and longevity to directly assess the effects of having a feminine name. Given the familial status of the brothers, we are able to control for an unparalleled number of factors, including, but not limited to, things such as parental socioeconomic status, neighborhood factors, school environment, and genetics. With an intersectional framework in mind, we also consider differences in the effects of having a feminized name across race groups.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 124. The Long-Term Impacts of Discrimination: Named-Based Evidence from Sibling Pair Analyses of Linked U.S. Census and Mortality Data