Parents these days name their babies Jacob or Isabella instead of John or Mary for similar reasons that people decades ago bought cars with tailfins instead of Edsels — because they are fashionable, according to a new University of California, Davis, study.
Hema Yoganarasimhan, an assistant professor and marketing expert in the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, reviewed favored baby name cycles since 1940. She compared lists of popular names kept by the Social Security Administration with data on people’s education and whether they worked in or took part in cultural or arts events. Additional data came from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
She observed that the so-called “cultured” parents tended to start baby name trends, and then others adopted those names. When the names became popular, the cultured parents were the first to drop usage of those popular names, she said... Read More