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Searching for a job is a beauty contest

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  • Busetta, Giovanni
  • Fiorillo, Fabio
  • Visalli, Emanuela

Abstract

The paper deals with the impact of beauty on employability of people, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied if there exists a preference for attractive candidates and if it does whether it depends on sex, physical features and racial characteristics. We monitored all relevant agencies offering jobs in Italy from August 2011 to September 2012 sending 11008 CVs to 1542 advertised job openings. To do so, we construct fake CVs and we sent the same CV 8 times, changing only name and surname, address, and the photo included. In particular, we sent 4 CVs with photo of an attractive and unattractive man and women, and 4 CVs without photo of an Italian and a foreign men and women to each job opening. Callbacks rates are statistically significant higher for attractive women and men than unattractive ones. Racial discrimination appears to be statistically relevant, but less than discrimination based on the physical features, especially for women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49392.

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Date of creation: 30 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49392

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Related research

Keywords: beauty premium; racial discrimination; experimental economics.;

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  1. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are emily and greg more employable than lakisha and jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination," Natural Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00216, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze’ev Shtudiner, 2010. "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?," Working Papers, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics 1006, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  4. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 2236, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
  6. López Bóo, Florencia & Rossi, Martín A. & Urzúa, Sergio S., 2013. "The labor market return to an attractive face: Evidence from a field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 170-172.
  7. Michele Fratianni, 2012. "150 years of Italian political unity and economic dualism: An Introduction," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences 73, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  8. 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.
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