Afro‐Descendants in Peru: Do Beauty and Race Matter in the Labor Market?

20 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Francisco Galarza

Francisco Galarza

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Gustavo Yamada

Universidad del Pacifico, Peru - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

This is a first study about labor discrimination against Afro‐descendants in Peru. We randomly assigned Afro‐Peruvian and white surnames and photographs (subjectively beautiful, homely looking, or not photos) to 3,828 fictitious résumés, sent for unskilled, technical, and professional occupations. We find an unprecedented, sizeable beauty premium in unskilled occupations (232.5 percent), no effect of looks in technical occupations, and a beauty penalty in professional occupations (–71.3 percent). Overall, whites receive 19.37 percent more callbacks than similarly qualified Afro‐Peruvians; this racial discrimination affects only Afro‐Peruvian females, and particularly those employed in technical occupations. These results remain unaltered when we restrict the sample to those markedly “Afro” surnames. Our findings unveil different dynamics of discrimination across job categories, which tend to be overlooked by the existing literature.

Suggested Citation

Galarza, Francisco and Yamada, Gustavo, Afro‐Descendants in Peru: Do Beauty and Race Matter in the Labor Market? (February 2019). Review of Development Economics, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 211-230, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3322778 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rode.12530

Francisco Galarza (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

Gustavo Yamada

Universidad del Pacifico, Peru - Department of Economics ( email )

Av. Salaverry 2020
Región Metropolitana
Lima 18, Santiago Lima 11
Peru

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