Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1927

We investigate the role of physical attractiveness in the hiring process. We sent 5,312 curricula vitae (CVs) in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture, whereas the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male or female or a plain-looking male or female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callback than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations for this discrimination against attractive women and provide evidence that female jealousy and envy are likely reasons.

This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics.

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