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Productivity or Discrimination? Beauty and the Exams

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  • Giam Pietro Cipriani
  • Angelo Zago

Abstract

Do good looks make people more productive? An impact of looks on earnings has been found in the empirical literature: plain people earn less than average-looking people who earn less than the good-looking. However, an important question remains unanswered: is the impact of beauty due to pure discrimination or productivity? We provide evidence against the hypothesis of Becker-type discrimination stemming from tastes and in favor of productivity-related discrimination.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 428-447

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:73:y:2011:i:3:p:428-447

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  1. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  3. Daniele CHECCHI & Gabriella PRAVETTONI, 2003. "Self-esteem and educational attainment," Departmental Working Papers 2003-30, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  4. James Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," Working Papers 0028, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  5. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Beauty, Gender and Stereotypes: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-22, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," NBER Working Papers 4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pfann, Gerard A. & Biddle, Jeff E. & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Bosman, Ciska M., 2000. "Business success and businesses' beauty capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 201-207, May.
  8. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  9. Daniel Hamermesh & Amy M. Parker, 2003. "Beauty in the Classroom: Professors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedagogical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 9853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  11. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The beauty tyranny
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-08-02 13:26:39
  2. Looks, politicians & rational voters
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-10-05 13:52:16
  3. The economics of Susan Boyle
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-04-26 11:42:49
  4. Lindsay Tanner Goes Gaga Over Susan Boyle
    by Jonathan Boymal in Econ Amore on 2009-04-28 04:34:00
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Cited by:
  1. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "A Matter of Weight? The Role of Spouses. Physical Attractiveness on Hours of Work," CHILD Working Papers Series 7, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  2. Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2012. "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Teaching Evaluations, Beauty And Abilities," Working Papers 201204, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  3. Vasilios Kosteas, 2012. "The Effect of Exercise on Earnings: Evidence from the NLSY," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 225-250, June.
  4. Guéguen, Nicolas, 2012. "Hair color and wages: Waitresses with blond hair have more fun," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 370-372.
  5. Hersch, Joni, 2011. "Skin color, physical appearance, and perceived discriminatory treatment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 671-678.
  6. E. Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser & M. Walzl, 2008. "Unfair contests," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 267-291, 04.
  7. Claudia Sanhueza & Rodrigo Bravo & Oscar Giusti, 2008. "La Belleza y su Efecto en el Mercado Laboral: Evidencia para Chile," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv204, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.

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