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Mirror, mirror on the wall: The effect of time spent grooming on earnings

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  • Das, Jayoti
  • De Loach, Stephen B.

Abstract

To most economists, personal grooming is a non-market activity. The standard view is that time spent in non-market activities is counterproductive as it reduces work effort and job commitment (Becker, 1985). But grooming may be different. Grooming provides an important source of communication about workers, their values, social identities and personalities. There is reason to believe that certain productive personality traits may be inferred on the basis of personal grooming. In this paper, we use data from the American Time Use Survey's (2009) pooled cross-section 2003-2007 to investigate the effect of additional time spent grooming on earnings. The results show that the effect of grooming on earnings differs significantly by gender and race. These results cannot easily be reconciled with any one particular theory, but imply a complex interaction between several possible effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Jayoti & De Loach, Stephen B., 2011. "Mirror, mirror on the wall: The effect of time spent grooming on earnings," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 26-34, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:1:p:26-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Grooming Earnings; Time use;

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