Beauty and the Sources of Discrimination
36 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007 Last revised: 16 Oct 2008
Date Written: September 15, 2008
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: Suggested Citation