This paper tracks the fraction of college graduate women who kept their surnames upon marriage and after childbirth and explores some of the correlates of surname retention. Data from the New York Times, Harvard College alumni books, and Massachusetts birth records are used. Surname retention at marriage greatly increased from 1975 to about 1985 although Massachusetts birth records and the Harvard data show a decrease in the fraction keeping their surnames beginning around the early 1990s. The observable characteristics of importance in surname retention are those revealing that the bride has already "made a name" for herself.
The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.