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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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  • Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2006. "Changing looks and changing "discrimination": The beauty of economists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 405-412, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:93:y:2006:i:3:p:405-412
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
    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. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
    4. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    5. 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.
    6. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    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 1041-1067, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Michele Belot & Marina Schroeder, 2015. "Remember Me? A Field Study on Memory Biases in Academia," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 06-06, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    3. Daniel Hamermesh, 2012. "Tall or taller, pretty or prettier: is discrimination absolute or relative?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-17, December.
    4. Jan Fidrmuc & Boontarika Paphawasit & Çiğdem Börke Tunalı, 2017. "Nobel Beauty," Working Paper series 17-27, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    5. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success," IZA Discussion Papers 2311, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Leigh, Andrew & Susilo, Tirta, 2009. "Is voting skin-deep? Estimating the effect of candidate ballot photographs on election outcomes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 61-70, February.
    7. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 8-15, February.
    8. Poutvaara, Panu & Jordahl, Henrik & Berggren, Niclas, 2009. "Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success," Munich Reprints in Economics 19800, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    9. Francisco B. Galarza & Gustavo Yamada, 2017. "Triple penalty in employment access: The role of beauty, race, and sex," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 20, pages 29-47, May.
    10. 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.
    11. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2009. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 523-536, August.
    12. Francesco Cinnirella & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Size Matters! Body Height and Labor Market Discrimination: A Cross-European Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2733, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:38-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Carmelo Licata & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2016. "Partisan stereotypes," Working Papers CEB 16-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    15. John J. Donohue III, 2005. "The Law and Economics of Antidiscrimination Law," NBER Working Papers 11631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Deryugina, Tatyana & Shurchkov, Olga, 2015. "Now you see it, now you don’t: The vanishing beauty premium," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 331-345.
    18. M. Angeles Carnero Fernández & Blanca Martínez & Rocío Sánchez Mangas, 2010. "Mobbing and workers' health: an empirical analysis for Spain," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-30, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    19. 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, January.
    20. Olivier Gergaud & Victor Ginsburgh & florine Livat, 2016. "Looking Good and Looking Smart," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-28, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2016. "Looks matter: Attractiveness and employment in the former soviet union," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1604, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.

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    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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