As Rare as a Panda': How Facial Attractiveness, Gender, and Occupation Affect Interview Callbacks at Chinese Firms

31 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014

See all articles by Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Bates College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Lei Lei

Liberty Mutual

Abstract

This study explores how both gender and facial attractiveness affect job candidates' chances of obtaining interviews in China's dynamic Internet job board labor market. It examines how discrimination based on these attributes varies over occupation, location, and firms' ownership type and size. We employ a resume (correspondence) audit methodology. We establish the facial attractiveness of candidate photos via an online survey. 24,192 applications are submitted to 12,096 job postings across four occupations in 6 Chinese cities.We find sizable differences in the interview callback rates of attractive and unattractive job candidates. Job candidates with unattractive faces need to put in 33% more applications than their attractive counterparts to obtain the same number of interview callbacks. Women are preferred to men in three of our four occupations. Women on average need to put in only 91% as many applications as men to obtain the same number of interview callbacks.

Keywords: beauty, gender, field experiments, discrimination, Chinese firms, hiring, facial attractiveness, internet job boards, resume correspondence audit study

JEL Classification: C93, J71, J23, O53

Suggested Citation

Maurer-Fazio, Margaret and Lei, Lei, As Rare as a Panda': How Facial Attractiveness, Gender, and Occupation Affect Interview Callbacks at Chinese Firms. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8605. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520780

Margaret Maurer-Fazio (Contact Author)

Bates College - Department of Economics ( email )

276 Pettengill Hall
4 Andrews Road
Lewiston, ME 04240
United States
207-786-6087 (Phone)
207-786-8338 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Lei Lei

Liberty Mutual

United States

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