Winner, Loser, and Marijuana Pepsi

We wrote in Freakonomics about two brothers named Winner and Loser.


Winner became a lifetime criminal; Loser a detective in the NYPD. The story of these two brothers matched the findings of my academic research with Roland Fryer, which found no impact of a child’s name on her life.

Now, from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, we have the story of three sisters: Kimberly, Robin, and Marijuana Pepsi Jackson. Just like Loser before her, Marijuana Pepsi has made something of her life, earning a master’s degree in education.


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  1. econobiker says:

    From the news article:
    “It was the one time in her life that she went by MP Sawyer professionally because the name Marijuana was freaking out the customers and causing her for-sale signs to be stolen as souvenirs.”

    It seems she is astitute to know what to do and when to do it…

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  2. Frank says:

    What does that do to the other kids in school?
    I wanna know the flower child parent who decided to name their kid that, then ask them why. then ask them what drugs they were on.

    Here is the future of America.

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  3. Science Minded says:

    Dear Tim and Caliphilosopher;

    What’s the impact of a person’s name, the day they were born etc. etc. Depends alot on framework. Technically speaking, I was born on the Jewish New Year– Every year, I celebrate two birthday’s cause I can never forget my real religious one. As far as the secular one, I still was born on the “Day of Atonement” — so my birthdays have always been sweet and sour or bittersweet– And then my real secular one is the first or second day of fall- I love the fall, the change of seasons– so there’s alot going on around my birthday– As for my name- have blogged about it before– so I will speak of my students- have been talking for years with them about what’s in their first names- the stories behind each one of their individual names. Take the time to ask and when they ask their parents about it (if they haven’t already- there is always a story– a connection to the past, a hope or dream for their kids in the future. And my guess (hyopthesis) is that their parents in some way taught them about why they chose that name i.e., what was important to them–even if only indirectly– so as to “impact” Your stats will never pick this up because they ignore/ overlook the whole person, their individual history/family history/ particular cultural background— And be the by- this is not a critique of the use of statistics– just a criticism of how they are used sometimes–

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  4. me says:

    I am confused i was looking up pot then this came up

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  5. Pieter says:

    There is this song called “A boy named Sue”, about a guy being successful because of his girly name.

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  6. Marijuana Pepsi says:

    Dr. Levitt,

    Although a few years old, I just saw a tweet of this posting. You do great work. Many thanks to you and Dr. Fryer for highlighting this topic. For some reason, I find it interesting….

    My own dissertation examines the educational experiences of students with distinctly black names in relation to teacher perceptions and expectations. Thank you for helping to make this a viable research topic.


    Marijuana Sawyer-Clardy

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