Does a Name Tell Race? Play the Name Game


Wrong First Name Means No Job?

Maybe so. Economist Marianne Bertrand found employers were twice as likely to contact applicants with so-called “White-sounding” names than those with so-called¬†“Black-sounding” names.¬† But what’s a Black – White, Hispanic, or Asian – name?

Do you play the name game?

When you hear a name, do you assign a race or ethnicity? Try it now. Here are girls’ and boys’ names from a New York Times story on the top baby names of 2007. See how well you can match each name with its ethnic or racial group.

[mtouchquiz 1]

  1. Melanie Threatt
    Melanie Threatt07-10-2012

    I didn’t understand this quiz. Did you mean, what image do you have when you hear the name, what is the origin of the name (from what race or ethic group (ROEG) did the name derive) , or what racial or ethnic group used the name more in 2007? It would be interesting to design the survey to show what % of people had a particular image side by side with which ROEG actually used the name more in 2007, if that’s what you intended.

    • Afi Scruggs
      Afi Scruggs07-10-2012

      Melanie, thanks for commenting. The quiz is meant to get folks thinking about ways they stereotype others based on first names.