Those Who Tan and Those Who Don't: A Natural Experiment in Colorism

15 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020

See all articles by Ronen Avraham

Ronen Avraham

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law; University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Tamar Kricheli‐Katz

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Shay Lavie

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Haggai Porat

Harvard University, Harvard Law School; Tel Aviv University School of Economics

Tali Regev

IDC

Date Written: August 11, 2020

Abstract

Are darker-skinned workers discriminated against in the labor market? Studies using survey data have shown that darker skin tone is associated with increased labor market disadvantages. However, it is hard to refute the possibility that other factors correlated with skin tones might affect employment outcomes. To overcome this inherent limitation, we use a natural experiment: we utilize changes in one’s own skin tone, generated by exposure to the sun, to explore the effect of skin tone on the tendency to be employed. We find that those people whose skin tone becomes darker by exposure to the sun (but not others) are less likely to be employed when the UV radiation in the previous three weeks in the area in which they reside is greater. These within-person findings hold even when controlling for the week, the year, the region, demographic characteristics and the occupation and industry one is employed in.

Suggested Citation

Avraham, Ronen and Kricheli Katz, Tamar and Lavie, Shay and Porat, Haggai and Regev, Tali, Those Who Tan and Those Who Don't: A Natural Experiment in Colorism (August 11, 2020). U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 593, Tel Aviv University , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671572

Ronen Avraham (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
(512) 232-1357 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/profile.php?id=ra22397

Tamar Kricheli Katz

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Shay Lavie

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
972-3-6409146 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.tau.ac.il/Eng/?CategoryID=242&ArticleID=548

Haggai Porat

Harvard University, Harvard Law School ( email )

Tel Aviv University School of Economics ( email )

Tel Aviv
Israel

Tali Regev

IDC ( email )

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
51
Abstract Views
424
Rank
686,202
PlumX Metrics