Those With Surnames Down The Alphabet Do Badly In Studies, Don’t Have A Good Start To Career
What about the first letter of your name? Does a name’s position in the alphabet affect anything outside the Yellow Pages? The idea isn’t so far-fetched. People and businesses are listed alphabetically all the time -and not just in the phone book. Their rank can subtly affect the choices people make, with far-reaching consequences.
Investors are a good example. Two studies published last year in the Review of Finance found stocks with names closer to the front of the alphabet are traded more often than those near the end.These front-of-the-alphabet stocks also have higher valuations, one set of researchers found. Authors divined the same effect in mutual funds.
It may seem illogical to choose an investment based on its name. But that’s not quite what’s happening. Many investors don’t have time to check out every stock, so they take a shortcut. “When con fronted with a large number of options, individuals often choose the first acceptable option, rather than the best possible option,“ experts said.
OK, but what about human beings? Are people’s lives and fortunes really affected by whether their last name begins with a “W“ rather than a “C“? Two University of Colorado economists found compelling evidence that the first letter of your last name does matter quite a bit -especially when you’re young.Professor Jeffrey Zax and gra duate student Alexander Cauley analysed data on the lives of more than 3,000 men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. They found that those with surnames further back in the alphabet did worse in high school, in college, and in the job market early in their careers. “The effect (of the alphabetical rank) is significant, negative, and substantively large,“ Cauley and Zax wrote. While correlation isn’t necessarily causation, the experts believe there’s a connection.
Source : Bloomberg