Beauty and the Sources of Discrimination

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007 Last revised: 16 Oct 2008

See all articles by Michèle Belot

Michèle Belot

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

V. Bhaskar

University College London

Jeroen van de Ven

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 15, 2008

Abstract

We analyze behavior on a TV game show where players' earnings depend upon several factors. Attractive players fare better than less attractive ones, even though they perform no differently on every dimension. They also exhibit and engender the same degree of cooperativeness. Nevertheless, they are substantially less likely to be eliminated by their peers, even when this is costly. Our results suggest that discrimination arises due to consumption value considerations. We investigate third party perceptions of discrimination by asking experimental subjects to predict elimination decisions. Subjects' predictions implicitly assign a role for attractiveness but underestimate its magnitude.

Keywords: beauty premium, discrimination

JEL Classification: C93, D63, J15, J16

Suggested Citation

Belot, Michèle V. K. and Bhaskar, V. and van de Ven, Jeroen, Beauty and the Sources of Discrimination (September 15, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956600 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.956600

Michèle V. K. Belot

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

V. Bhaskar

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

Jeroen Van de Ven (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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