Beauty and Employment: A Field Experiment on Appearance Discrimination in China's Labor Market
25 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Oct 2021
Date Written: April 15, 2017
This article provides direct evidence of appearance discrimination in Chinese context based on an experimental approach. We perform a field experiment to study if people with more attractive faces are more likely to be contacted after submitting a resume on the job search website. We find significant appearance discrimination in Chinese labor market, where attractive applicants are 17% more likely to get a response than unattractive ones. What's more, female candidates are faced with a higher level of appearance discrimination at 27%, which proves the existence of gender discrimination in Chinese labor market. By checking possible channels for appearance discrimination, we find employers' preference the main cause in our experiment. Furthermore, this paper proposes recommendations for both job applicants and policy makers in hope of mitigating such problems.
Keywords: appearance discrimination; field experiment; labor market
JEL Classification: J7
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