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The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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Author Info

  • López Bóo, Florencia

    ()
    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Rossi, Martín A.

    ()
    (Universidad de San Andrés)

  • Urzua, Sergio

    ()
    (University of Maryland)

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the link between beauty and hiring practices in the labor market. Specifically, we study if people with less attractive faces are less likely to be contacted after submitting a resume. Our empirical strategy is based on an experimental approach. We sent fictitious resumes with pictures of attractive and unattractive faces to real job openings in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We find that attractive people receive 36 percent more responses (callbacks) than unattractive people. Given the experimental design, this difference can be attributed to the exogenous manipulation of facial attractiveness of our fake job applicants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6356.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Letters, 2013, 118 (1), 170–172.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6356

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Related research

Keywords: callback rates; labor market discrimination; facial attractiveness;

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References

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  1. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2009. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 009, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
  4. French, Michael T. & Robins, Philip K. & Homer, Jenny F. & Tapsell, Lauren M., 2009. "Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 373-382, August.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Harper, Barry, 2000. " Beauty, Stature and the Labour Market: A British Cohort Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 771-800, Special I.
  7. Fletcher, Jason M., 2009. "Beauty vs. brains: Early labor market outcomes of high school graduates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 321-325, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze’ev Shtudiner, 2010. "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?," Working Papers 1006, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  10. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-56, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment
    by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-03-05 17:41:00
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Cited by:
  1. Francisco Galarza & Gustavo Yamada, 2012. "Labor Market Discrimination in Lima, Peru: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers 12-03, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Mar 2012.
  2. Doorley, Karina & Sierminska, Eva, 2012. "Myth or Fact? The Beauty Premium across the Wage Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 6674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Busetta, Giovanni & Fiorillo, Fabio & Visalli, Emanuela, 2013. "Searching for a job is a beauty contest," MPRA Paper 49392, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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