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Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion About Employer Taste-Based Discrimination

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Abstract

We use novel data to show that the beauty wage premium exists only in jobs where attractiveness is plausibly a productive characteristic. A large premium exists in jobs that require substantial amounts of interpersonal interaction, but no such premium exists in jobs that require working with information and data. This is inconsistent with employer taste-based discrimination, which would favor attractive workers in all jobs. Our unique task data address concerns that measurement error in the importance of interpersonal tasks may bias results towards employer discrimination. Our conclusions are in stark contrast to all previous research that uses a similar approach.

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  • Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2017. "Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion About Employer Taste-Based Discrimination," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20175, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20175
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    File URL: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1118&context=economicscibc
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    1. Braz Camargo & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2010. "Interracial Friendships in College," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 861-892, October.
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    9. Andrew Agopsowicz & Chris Robinson & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2017. "Careers and Mismatch for College Graduates: College and Non-college Jobs," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20174, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
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    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2019. "Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 399-433.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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