【题 目】Social Justice in Your Name?!
【主讲人】施冠名 Professor and Director of VISP and MSPO, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
施冠名教授本科毕业于复旦大学国际金融系，2005年于加大伯克利分校Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley获得得博士学位，同年加入 University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics，历任助理教授，副教授，教授，现任系主任，并长期担任系研究生招生委员会及研究生项目委员会主任，以及学院学校各类学术委员会成员。
Social justice is a cornerstone of a fair society, impacting critical areas like human rights and economic growth. While disparities related to factors such as race and socioeconomic status are well-documented, a less explored issue is "alphabetical discrimination." This phenomenon involves ordering and potentially judging individuals based on the alphabetical sequence of their last names. In this study, we show that such a form of discrimination might influence significant life choices, particularly the selection of college majors. Leveraging datasets from two major universities in US and China, our results indicate that US students with earlier last name initials are significantly more likely to opt for liberal arts over STEM subjects. This tendency may be linked to variations in personality development stemming from their experiences with alphabetical order practices during their K-12 education. Notably, this trend is absent among international students from countries where alphabetical name order is not prevalent. These findings offer new insights into how one’s names can shape educational decisions and trajectories. Our findings provide implications for crafting policies that address such inadvertent biases, ensuring that all students, regardless of their last names, have equal opportunities and visibility.