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Beauty and the feast: Examining the effect of beauty on earnings using restaurant tipping data

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  • Parrett, Matt

Abstract

This paper looks at the effect of beauty on earnings using restaurant tipping data. Customers were surveyed as they left a set of five Virginia restaurants about the dining experience, their server, and themselves, including about their tip and their server’s beauty and productivity. I find that attractive servers earn approximately $1261 more per year in tips than unattractive servers, the primary driver of which is female customers tipping attractive females more than unattractive females. Potential explanations of this earnings gap are drawn from both the labor and experimental economics literatures, the most compelling of which is customer taste-based discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Parrett, Matt, 2015. "Beauty and the feast: Examining the effect of beauty on earnings using restaurant tipping data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 34-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:34-46
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.04.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lynn, Michael & Grassman, Andrea, 1990. "Restaurant tipping: an examination of three 'rational' explanations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 169-181, June.
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    8. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
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    11. Conlin, Michael & Lynn, Michael & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2003. "The norm of restaurant tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 297-321, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip J. Grossman & Catherine Eckel & Mana Komai & Wei Zhan, 2016. "It Pays to Be a Man: Rewards for Leaders in a Coordination Game," Monash Economics Working Papers 38-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage gap; Beauty; Restaurant tipping; Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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