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The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • López Bóo, Florencia

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Rossi, Martín A.

    () (Universidad de San Andrés)

  • Urzua, Sergio

    () (University of Maryland)

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the link between beauty and hiring practices in the labor market. Specifically, we study if people with less attractive faces are less likely to be contacted after submitting a resume. Our empirical strategy is based on an experimental approach. We sent fictitious resumes with pictures of attractive and unattractive faces to real job openings in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We find that attractive people receive 36 percent more responses (callbacks) than unattractive people. Given the experimental design, this difference can be attributed to the exogenous manipulation of facial attractiveness of our fake job applicants.

Suggested Citation

  • López Bóo, Florencia & Rossi, Martín A. & Urzua, Sergio, 2012. "The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6356, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6356
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    1. French, Michael T. & Robins, Philip K. & Homer, Jenny F. & Tapsell, Lauren M., 2009. "Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 373-382, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    callback rates; labor market discrimination; facial attractiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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