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Are Good-Looking People More Employable?

Author

Listed:
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

    () (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

  • Ze’ev Shtudiner

    () (Department of Economics, Ariel University Center, Israel)

Abstract

Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of them- selves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5312 CVs in pairs to 2656 advertised job open- ings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/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 callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace is a primary reason for the punishment of attractive women.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze’ev Shtudiner, 2010. "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?," Working Papers 1006, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:1006
    as

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    File URL: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/humsos/Econ/Workingpapers/1006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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.
    3. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Fem Hiring Jealousy
      by Robin Hanson in Overcoming Bias on 2010-11-27 04:00:59

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. David Neumark, 2016. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Busetta, Giovanni & Fiorillo, Fabio & Visalli, Emanuela, 2013. "Searching for a job is a beauty contest," MPRA Paper 49392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Baert, Stijn, 2015. "Do They Find You on Facebook? Facebook Profile Picture and Hiring Chances," IZA Discussion Papers 9584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Beam, Emily A. & Hyman, Joshua & Theoharides, Caroline, 2017. "The Relative Returns to Education, Experience, and Attractiveness for Young Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 10537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. Arai, Mahmood & Gartell, Marie & Rödin, Magnus & Özcan, Gülay, 2016. "Stereotypes of physical appearance and labor market chances," Working Paper Series 2016:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2015. "Discrimination against Migrants in Austria: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:2:p:237-265 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:izalpo:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40173-017-0084-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:cpr:ceprdp:9179 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:cem:jaecon:v:20:y:2017:n:1:p:29-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Leda M. Pérez & Pedro Llanos Paredes, 2015. "¿Al fondo del escalafón?: un estado de la cuestión sobre el trabajo doméstico remunerado en el Perú," Working Papers 15-01, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    14. 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.
    15. LIU Xing & SIERMINSKA Eva, 2014. "Evaluating the effect of beauty on labor market outcomes: A review of the literature," LISER Working Paper Series 2014-11, LISER.
    16. Donja Darai & Silvia Grätz, 2012. "Attraction and cooperative behavior," ECON - Working Papers 082, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2013.
    17. Francisco Galarza & Gustavo Yamada & Carlos Zelada, 2015. "Cuesta arriba para los afroperuanos: evidencia de la discriminación en el acceso al mercado laboral de Lima Metropolitana," Working Papers 15-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    18. 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.
    19. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. 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.
    21. Eva Sierminska, 2015. "Does it pay to be beautiful?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 161-161, June.
    22. Francisco Galarza & Liuba Kogan & Gustavo Yamada, 2011. "¿Existe discriminación en el mercado laboral de Lima Metropolitana? : un análisis experimental," Working Papers 11-15, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    23. Michał Krawczyk & Magdalena Smyk, 2015. "Gender, beauty and support networks in academia: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers 2015-43, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    beauty; discrimination; experimental economics.;

    JEL classification:

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

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