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Beauty and Job Accessibility: New Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Deng, Weiguang
  • Li, Dayang
  • Zhou, Dong

Abstract

This study uses a field experiment to resolve the difficulties of quantifying personal appearance and identify a direct causal relationship between appearance and employment in China. The experiment reveals that taste-based pure appearance discrimination exists at the pre-interview stage. There are significant gender-specific heterogeneous effects of education on appearance discrimination: having better educational credentials reduces appearance discrimination among men but not among women. Moreover, attributes of the labor market, companies, and vacancies matter. Beauty premiums are larger in big cities with higher concentrations of women and in male-focused research positions. Similarly, the beauty premium is larger for vacancies with higher remuneration.

Suggested Citation

  • Deng, Weiguang & Li, Dayang & Zhou, Dong, 2019. "Beauty and Job Accessibility: New Evidence from a Field Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 369, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 8-15, February.
    7. Doorley, Karina & Sierminska, Eva, 2015. "Myth or fact? The beauty premium across the wage distribution in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 29-34.
    8. repec:eee:labchp:v:1:y:1986:i:c:p:693-785 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ong, David & Xie, Man & Zhang, Junsen, 2020. "The College Admissions Contribution to the Labor Market Beauty Premium," MPRA Paper 98517, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    appearance discrimination; beauty premium; pre-interview stage; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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