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Searching for a job is a beauty contest

Author

Listed:
  • Busetta, Giovanni
  • Fiorillo, Fabio
  • Visalli, Emanuela

Abstract

The paper deals with the impact of beauty on employability of people, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied if there exists a preference for attractive candidates and if it does whether it depends on sex, physical features and racial characteristics. We monitored all relevant agencies offering jobs in Italy from August 2011 to September 2012 sending 11008 CVs to 1542 advertised job openings. To do so, we construct fake CVs and we sent the same CV 8 times, changing only name and surname, address, and the photo included. In particular, we sent 4 CVs with photo of an attractive and unattractive man and women, and 4 CVs without photo of an Italian and a foreign men and women to each job opening. Callbacks rates are statistically significant higher for attractive women and men than unattractive ones. Racial discrimination appears to be statistically relevant, but less than discrimination based on the physical features, especially for women.

Suggested Citation

  • Busetta, Giovanni & Fiorillo, Fabio & Visalli, Emanuela, 2013. "Searching for a job is a beauty contest," MPRA Paper 49392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49392
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49825/10/MPRA_paper_49825.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michele Fratianni, 2012. "150 years of Italian political unity and economic dualism: An Introduction," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 335-346.
    2. 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.
    3. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
    4. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    6. López Bóo, Florencia & Rossi, Martín A. & Urzúa, Sergio S., 2013. "The labor market return to an attractive face: Evidence from a field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 170-172.
    7. Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze'ev Shtudiner, 2015. "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(8), pages 1760-1776, August.
    8. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:cem:jaecon:v:20:y:2017:n:1:p:29-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leda M. Pérez & Pedro Llanos Paredes, 2015. "¿Al fondo del escalafón?: un estado de la cuestión sobre el trabajo doméstico remunerado en el Perú," Working Papers 15-01, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    3. Francisco Galarza & Gustavo Yamada & Carlos Zelada, 2015. "Cuesta arriba para los afroperuanos: evidencia de la discriminación en el acceso al mercado laboral de Lima Metropolitana," Working Papers 15-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    4. Francisco B. Galarza & Gustavo Yamada, 2017. "Triple penalty in employment access: The role of beauty, race, and sex," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 20, pages 29-47, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    beauty premium; racial discrimination; experimental economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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