Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre
We propose several models in which an ascriptive characteristic generates earnings differentials and is sorted across sectors. The general approach shows how to distinguish the ultimate sources of labor-market returns to such characteristics; the specific example uses longitudinal data on a large sample of attorneys who graduated from one law school. Beauty is measured by ratings of their matriculation photographs. 1) Better-looking attorneys who graduated in the 1970s earned more after 5 years of practice than their worse- looking classmates, other things equal, an effect that grew even larger by the fifteenth year of practice. There is no impact of beauty on earnings among 1980s graduates. 2) Attorneys in the private sector are better-looking than those in the public sector, with the differences rising as workers sort across sector based on their beauty. 3) Male attorneys' probability of attaining an early partnership rises with beauty. The results support a theory of dynamic sorting and the role of customer behavior. We cannot determine whether this is because clients discriminate or because better-looking lawyers are able to obtain greater pecuniary gains for their clients.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1995|
|Publication status:||published as Biddle, Jeff E. and Daniel S. Hamermesh. "Beauty, Productivity, And Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks And Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, 1998, v16(1,Jan), 172-201.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sherwin Rosen, 1991.
"The Market for Lawyers,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
72, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars, 1988.
"Consumer Discrimination and Self-Employment,"
NBER Working Papers
2627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990.
"Up or Out Rules in the Market for Lawers,"
University of Chicago - Economics Research Center
90-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Goddeeris, John H, 1988. "Compensating Differentials and Self-selection: An Application to Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 411-428, April.
- Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-441, July.
- George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
- James Heckman & Jose Scheinkman, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 243-255.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1983. "A Note on Aggregation of Skills and Labor Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 425-431.
- Berger, Mark C, 1985. "The Effect of Cohort Size on Earnings Growth: A Reexamination of the Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 561-573, June.
- William R. Johnson, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-277.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5366. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.