A new GLO Discussion Paper provides causal evidence that beauty affects labor market performance significantly and decomposes the relevant diversifying factors.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 369, 2019
Beauty and Job Accessibility: New Evidence from a Field Experiment – Download PDF
by Deng, Weiguang & Li, Dayang & Zhou, Dong
GLO Fellow Weiguang Deng & GLO Affiliate Dayang Li
Author 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.
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