Are Good-Looking People More Employable?

35 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010 Last revised: 6 Feb 2014

See all articles by Bradley J. Ruffle

Bradley J. Ruffle

McMaster University

Ze'ev Shtudiner

Ariel University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 5, 2014


We investigate the role of physical attractiveness in the hiring process. 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 for this discrimination against attractive women and provide evidence that female jealousy and envy are likely reasons.

Keywords: beauty, discrimination, job interview, jealousy, experimental economics

JEL Classification: C93, J71

Suggested Citation

Ruffle, Bradley J. and Shtudiner, Ze'ev, Are Good-Looking People More Employable? (February 5, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Bradley J. Ruffle (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4

HOME PAGE: http://

Ze'ev Shtudiner

Ariel University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ariel, 40300

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