Parents seek inspiration from many sources when picking a baby name — their family, celebrities, and even television characters (remember when the Game of Thrones-inspired Khaleesi broke the top 1,000 girls' names?) — but Alan Hall, a senior analyst at the Socionomics Institute, is now claiming that the stock market has a big influence on baby names as well. That's right, Alan says that the state of the stock market and the subsequent social mood it creates (positive when the market is up, negative when it's down) actually affect how parents name their offspring.
Alan compared seven decades of stock market records to baby naming data from the same period and found that parents tend to give their children unique and unusual names during and right after rallies in the market. On the flip side, when the market is down, parents revert to safer, more traditional names.
While Hall admits parents are not consciously deciding to get creative with names just because the stock market is good, he points to an evolutionary instinct parents have to help offspring thrive. When the social mood is positive, parents subconsciously gravitate toward unique names because it could help their child get noticed. And when the mood is negative, they fear an unusual name might endanger their prospects in society.
Based on Alan's theory, the recent bull market and positive mood it's created can explain why so many unusual names have crept into the top 1,000 recently. "When a bear market comes..expect to see celebs and the public alike turn toward more-conformist baby names in the maternity wards," Alan said in a recent News & Experts article.