Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre
AbstractWe propose several models in which an ascriptive characteristic generates earnings differentials and is sorted across sectors. The general approach shows how to distinguish the ultimate sources of labor-market returns to such characteristics; the specific example uses longitudinal data on a large sample of attorneys who graduated from one law school. Beauty is measured by ratings of their matriculation photographs. 1) Better-looking attorneys who graduated in the 1970s earned more after 5 years of practice than their worse- looking classmates, other things equal, an effect that grew even larger by the fifteenth year of practice. There is no impact of beauty on earnings among 1980s graduates. 2) Attorneys in the private sector are better-looking than those in the public sector, with the differences rising as workers sort across sector based on their beauty. 3) Male attorneys' probability of attaining an early partnership rises with beauty. The results support a theory of dynamic sorting and the role of customer behavior. We cannot determine whether this is because clients discriminate or because better-looking lawyers are able to obtain greater pecuniary gains for their clients.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5366.
Date of creation: Nov 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Biddle, Jeff E. and Daniel S. Hamermesh. "Beauty, Productivity, And Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks And Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, 1998, v16(1,Jan), 172-201.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- O'Flaherty, Brendan & Siow, Aloysius, 1995.
"Up-or-Out Rules in the Market for Lawyers,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 709-35, October.
- O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990. "Up or Out Rules in the Market for Lawers," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- O'Flaherty, Siow A., 1990. "Up Or Out Rules In The Market For Lawyers," Discussion Papers 1990_29, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1992.
"The Market for Lawyers,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 215-46, October.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1991. "The Market for Lawyers," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 72, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Rosen, S., 1991. "The Market for Lawyers," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.