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

Listed author(s):
  • Parrett, Matt
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748701500046X
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2015)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 34-46

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:34-46
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.04.002
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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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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    9. 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, vol. 118(1), pages 170-172.
    10. Rosenblat, Tanya, 2008. "The Beauty Premium: Physical Attractiveness and Gender in Dictator Games," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13001, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    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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    14. Azar, Ofer H., 2007. "Why pay extra? Tipping and the importance of social norms and feelings in economic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 250-265, April.
    15. Michèle Belot & V. Bhaskar & Jeroen van de Ven, 2012. "Beauty and the Sources of Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 851-872.
    16. 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.
    17. Lynn, Michael & McCall, Michael, 2000. "Gratitude and gratuity: a meta-analysis of research on the service-tipping relationship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 203-214.
    18. Matt Parrett, 2006. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Tipping Behavior: A Laboratory Experiment and Evidence from Restaurant Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 489-514, October.
    19. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    20. Solnick, Sara J. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 1999. "The Influence of Physical Attractiveness and Gender on Ultimatum Game Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 199-215, September.
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