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

See all articles by Kaidi Wu

Kaidi Wu

Michigan State University, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: April 15, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Wu, Kaidi, Beauty and Employment: A Field Experiment on Appearance Discrimination in China's Labor Market (April 15, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3044200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3044200

Kaidi Wu (Contact Author)

Michigan State University, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
207
Abstract Views
1,097
rank
204,846
PlumX Metrics