The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment

29 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2012

See all articles by Florencia López Bóo

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford; IZA

Martin Rossi

University of San Andres

Sergio Urzua

Northwestern University

Abstract

We provide new evidence on the link between beauty and hiring practices in the labor market. Specifically, we study if people with less attractive faces are less likely to be contacted after submitting a resume. Our empirical strategy is based on an experimental approach. We sent fictitious resumes with pictures of attractive and unattractive faces to real job openings in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We find that attractive people receive 36 percent more responses (callbacks) than unattractive people. Given the experimental design, this difference can be attributed to the exogenous manipulation of facial attractiveness of our fake job applicants.

Keywords: facial attractiveness, callback rates, labor market discrimination

JEL Classification: J71, J78

Suggested Citation

López Bóo, Florencia and Rossi, Martin and Urzua, Sergio Samuel, The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6356, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2010951

Florencia López Bóo (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Martin Rossi

University of San Andres ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Sergio Samuel Urzua

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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