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Changing looks and changing "discrimination": The beauty of economists

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  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

Abstract

I estimate the effects of changing an ascriptive characteristic on a market outcome while keeping the average amount of information unchanged. Taking advantage of candidates' multiple appearances in elections to office in a professional association and of the presence of different photographs accompanying the ballots, I show that exogenous increases in beauty raise a candidate's chance of success. The results support the inference that differential outcomes are inherent in agents' responses to an ascriptive characteristic and do not stem from correlations with unobserved differences in productivity-enhancing characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 93 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 405-412

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:93:y:2006:i:3:p:405-412

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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References

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  1. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1995. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," NBER Working Papers 5024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," NBER Working Papers 5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Claudia Goldin & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," NBER Working Papers 5903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2000. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Economics working papers 2000-21, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  8. Ciska M. Bosman & Gerard Pfann & Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1997. "Business Success and Businesses' Beauty Capital," NBER Working Papers 6083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-67, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2007. "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender, and Electoral Success," CESifo Working Paper Series 2002, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Poutvaara, Panu & Jordahl, Henrik & Berggren, Niclas, 2009. "Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success," Working Paper Series 803, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Seung Chan Ahn & Young Hoon Lee, 2014. "Beauty And Productivity: The Case Of The Ladies Professional Golf Association," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 155-168, 01.
  5. Franklin G. Mixon & Steven B. Caudill, 2013. "Campus competition and co-ed allure: An institution-level analysis of collegiate dating markets," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 442-453.
  6. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," NBER Working Papers 12660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrew Leigh & Tirta Susilo, 2008. "Is Voting Skin-Deep? Estimating the Effect of Candidate Ballot Photographs on Election Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 583, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. John J. Donohue III, 2005. "The Law and Economics of Antidiscrimination Law," NBER Working Papers 11631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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