IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v61y2015i8p1760-1776.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are Good-Looking People More Employable?

Author

Listed:
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    (Department of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada; and Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University, 84105 Be'er Sheva, Israel)

  • Ze'ev Shtudiner

    (Department of Economics and Business Administration, Ariel University, 40700 Ariel, Israel)

Abstract

We investigate the role of physical attractiveness in the hiring process. We sent 5,312 curricula vitae (CVs) in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture, whereas the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male or female or a plain-looking male or female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callback than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations for this discrimination against attractive women and provide evidence that female jealousy and envy are likely reasons. This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics .

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze'ev Shtudiner, 2015. "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(8), pages 1760-1776, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:61:y:2015:i:8:p:1760-1776
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2014.1927
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1927
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1927?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
    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. 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.
    4. Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-1343, December.
    5. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Yona Rubinstein & Dror Brenner, 2014. "Pride and Prejudice: Using Ethnic-Sounding Names and Inter-Ethnic Marriages to Identify Labour Market Discrimination," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 389-425.
    8. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1987. "Testing for Sexual Discrimination in the Labour Market," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(49), pages 165-178, December.
    9. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
    10. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    11. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    12. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
    13. Riach, Peter A & Rich, Judith, 1991. "Testing for Racial Discrimination in the Labour Market," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 239-256, September.
    14. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "Obesity, Attractiveness, and Differential Treatment in Hiring: A Field Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    15. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
    16. Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
    17. Broder, Ivy E, 1993. "Review of NSF Economics Proposals: Gender and Institutional Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 964-970, September.
    18. 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.
    19. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Nothing is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524155, December.
    20. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dilmaghani, Maryam, 2020. "Beauty perks: Physical appearance, earnings, and fringe benefits," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    2. 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.
    3. Congcong Li & An-Ping Lin & Hai Lu & Kevin Veenstra, 2020. "Gender and beauty in the financial analyst profession: evidence from the United States and China," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1230-1262, December.
    4. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    5. Zenou, Yves & Patacchini, Eleonora & Ragusa, Giuseppe, 2012. "Unexplored Dimensions of Discrimination in Europe: Homosexuality and Physical Appearance," CEPR Discussion Papers 9179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Galarza, Francisco B. & Yamada, Gustavo, 2014. "Labor Market Discrimination in Lima, Peru: Evidence from a Field Experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 83-94.
    8. Bhaskar, Venkataraman & Belot, Michèle & Van de Ven, Jeroen, 2007. "Insidious Discrimination? Disentangling the Beauty Premium on a Game Show," CEPR Discussion Papers 6276, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Eiji Yamamura & Ryohei Hayashi & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2022. "Racers’ attractive looks, popularity, and performance: how do speedboat racers react to fans’ expectations?," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 73(4), pages 597-623, October.
    10. Ying Cao & Feng Guan & Zengquan Li & Yong George Yang, 2020. "Analysts’ Beauty and Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(9), pages 4315-4335, September.
    11. Dreber, Anna & Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2013. "Beauty queens and battling knights: Risk taking and attractiveness in chess," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 1-18.
    12. Deryugina, Tatyana, 2013. "When Are Appearances Deceiving? The Nature of the Beauty Premium," MPRA Paper 53581, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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.
    14. Balafoutas, Loukas & Fornwagner, Helena & Grosskopf, Brit, 2023. "Predictably competitive? What faces can tell us about competitive behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 931-940.
    15. Giovanni Busetta & Fabio Fiorillo & Giulio Palomba, 2021. "The impact of attractiveness on job opportunities in Italy: a gender field experiment," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 38(1), pages 171-201, April.
    16. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201238, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    17. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Leckcivilize, Attakrit & Straub, Alexander, 2020. "Your wingman could help you land a job: How beauty composition of applicants affects the call-back probability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    19. Eleonora Patacchini & Giuseppe Ragusa & Yves Zenou, 2015. "Unexplored dimensions of discrimination in Europe: homosexuality and physical appearance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1045-1073, October.
    20. Deng, Weiguang & Li, Dayang & Zhou, Dong, 2019. "Beauty and Job Accessibility: New Evidence from a Field Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 369, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    beauty; discrimination; job interview; jealousy; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:61:y:2015:i:8:p:1760-1776. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Asher (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.