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

  • López Bóo, Florencia

    ()

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Rossi, Martín A.

    ()

    (Universidad de San Andrés)

  • Urzua, Sergio

    ()

    (University of Maryland)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6356.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Letters, 2013, 118 (1), 170–172.
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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  5. Claudia Sanhueza & Rodrigo Bravo & Oscar Giusti, 2008. "La Belleza y su Efecto en el Mercado Laboral: Evidencia para Chile," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv204, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Harper, Barry, 2000. " Beauty, Stature and the Labour Market: A British Cohort Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 771-800, Special I.
  8. 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 239-56, September.
  9. Fletcher, Jason M., 2009. "Beauty vs. brains: Early labor market outcomes of high school graduates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 321-325, December.
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