35 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010 Last revised: 6 Feb 2014
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: Suggested Citation
By Orin Kerr