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Looks matter: Attractiveness and employment in the former soviet union

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  • Astghik Mavisakalyan

    () (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, Curtin University)

Abstract

The rigid soviet policy of full employment ensured employment for all able-bodied population. By removing this policy, the collapse of the system has made discrimination less costly. Has it also become prevalent? This paper studies the labour market discrimination on the basis of looks using data from three post-soviet countries of the caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. I estimate a large positive effect of attractive looks on males' probability of employment. Using partial identification approach, I show that this relationship is likely to be causal. The results are potentially consistent with taste-based discrimination in favour of attractive males.

Suggested Citation

  • Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2016. "Looks matter: Attractiveness and employment in the former soviet union," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1604, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:bcecwp:wp1604
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attractiveness; Employment; Former Soviet Union;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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