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Insidious Discrimination? Disentangling the Beauty Premium on a Game Show

  • Belot, Michèle
  • Bhaskar, Venkataraman
  • Van de Ven, Jeroen

This paper analyzes behaviour on a TV game show where players' monetary payoffs depend upon an array of factors, including ability in answering questions, perceived cooperativeness and the willingness of other players to choose them. We find a substantial beauty premium and are able to disentangle contributing factors. Attractive players perform no differently from less attractive ones, on every dimension. They also exhibit and engender the same degree of cooperativeness. Nevertheless, attractive players are substantially less likely to be eliminated by their peers. Our results suggest a consumption value basis for the beauty premium, and it appears that this is a form of insidious discrimination.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6276.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6276
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  1. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2004. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," NBER Working Papers 10522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:3:p:1049-1074 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Dolly Chugh & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2005. "Implicit Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 94-98, May.
  7. Andreoni,J. & Petrie,R., 2004. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes : evidence from laboratory experiments," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  9. John List, 2004. "Young, selfish, and male: Field evidence of social preferences," Natural Field Experiments 00298, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2005. "Games and Discrimination: Lessons From The Weakest Link," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 918-947.
  11. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:747-782 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  14. Levitt, Steven D, 2004. "Testing Theories of Discrimination: Evidence from Weakest Link," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 431-52, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Paulo Guimaraes & Richard Lindrooth, 2005. "Dirichlet-Multinomial Regression," Econometrics 0509001, EconWPA.
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