Beauty and the beast in the labor market: Evidence from a distribution regression approach
We apply an innovative technique to allow for differential effects of physical appearance across the wage distribution, as traditional methods confound opposing effects. Counterfactual wage distributions constructed using distribution regression,show that unattractive women are more likely to earn less than the median wage, particularly in professions where physical appearance is important. We also find a premium for well-paid attractive men in these professions. A comparison with results from traditional models shows that the characteristics of people in different physical appearance classes contributes to the effects identified using the latter and only a small portion could be discrimination.
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