Are Good-Looking People More Employable?
Bradley J. Ruffle
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics
Ariel University Center - Department of Economics
Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of themselves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5312 CVs in pairs to 2656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace and the negative perception of women (but not men) who include pictures of themselves on their CVs are the primary reasons for the punishment of attractive women.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: beauty, discrimination, experimental economics
JEL Classification: C93, J71working papers series
Date posted: November 9, 2010 ; Last revised: October 3, 2011
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