Will Ugly Betty Ever Find a Job in Italy?

QUADERNO DI RICERCA n. 391, 2013

23 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2013

See all articles by Giovanni Busetta

Giovanni Busetta

University of Messina - Department of Economics, Business, Environmental Sciences and Quantitative Methods

Fabio Fiorillo

Università Politecnica delle Marche - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: October 6, 2013

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of beauty on employability, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied the Italian labor market in order to ascertain whether there exists a preference for attractive applicants according to gender and racial characteristics. The sample analyzed consists of observations collected by sending 11008 curricula vitae (henceforth CVs) to firms looking for workers in response to advertised job postings.

Positive responses were obtained by 3278 CVs (almost 30% of the sample). We then compared response rates of different categories, obtaining the following results: those who receive the highest levels of positive responses are attractive subjects; most of the responses to plain subjects involve unqualified jobs; beauty appears to be essential for front clerical work; racial discrimination appears to be significant, but less so than discrimination based on physical features, especially for women.

Keywords: beauty premium, racial discrimination, experimental economics

JEL Classification: C93, J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Busetta, Giovanni and Fiorillo, Fabio, Will Ugly Betty Ever Find a Job in Italy? (October 6, 2013). QUADERNO DI RICERCA n. 391, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2336608

Giovanni Busetta (Contact Author)

University of Messina - Department of Economics, Business, Environmental Sciences and Quantitative Methods ( email )

Via T. Cannizzaro 278
Messina, 98122
Italy

Fabio Fiorillo

Università Politecnica delle Marche - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Piazzale Martelli, 8
60121 Ancona
Italy

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