Study: What’s in a name? A six-figure salary for these names in Germany

Study: What's in a name? A six-figure salary for these names in Germany
Names such as Dirk and Sabine can earn the most in Germany. Photo: DPA
The first name of a person plays a prime role in how much they earn at their jobs, according to a study at the job portal Adzuna.

The company analysed 5,541 current CVs of top earners in Germany, or those taking home a salary of 50,000 a year or more, reported the Berliner Zeitung on Wednesday. 

Especially for men, they found that one syllable names tended to bring in the bigger bucks. The highest earner among male names was Dirk, earning an average of €120,200, with other onesies also scoring high on the income hierarchy. Klaus can count on a good 100,237 before taxes with Hans bringing in just shy of 96,400.

In the case of two syllable names, the average salary dropped to 79,752. For three syllable ones, those average earnings further dipped to 73,030. 

All the female names on the list had at least two syllables, with Sabine earning the most, at 83,638 euros per year, followed by Susanne (82,869) and Claudia (78,934).

The study hopes to shed light not only on the success of deutsche Dirks, but also on the still-high salary gap between men and women in Germany, said Germany manager Inja Schneider in a statement about the results.

“The goal of our study was a new perspective on the topic of salary and salary factors,” she wrote.”We still see strong salary differences between men and women. We hope that our studies will create higher salaries, which will benefit both women and men.”

The shorter, simpler and more memorable a name, the higher its income earning potential, Schneider said, drawing from a similar study at the Cologne-based marketing agency Endmark. Double names, the agency concluded, were also linked to weak decision making in the family.

Difficult to pronounce names scored lower in the ranking, she added. A “name pronunciation effect” leads people to associate hard to pronounce names with difficult personalities, as the American Journal for Experimental Psychology also found. 

Other researchers have recently peered into the psychology of names in Germany, with a study this month at the University of Oldenburg near Bremen concluding that names such as Kevin and Chantel were associated with weak behaviour and performance problems, whereas names such as Marie, Sophie and Alexander were deemed friendlier and more successful.

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