Publications

21 Oct 14

Evaluating the effect of beauty on labor market outcomes: A review of the literature.

Authors: LIU Xing, SIERMINSKA Eva.

Abstract: Examining the effect of beauty on labor market outcomes has become a growing field of labor economics. In fact, the way the labor market rewards physical attractiveness has become an important underlying determinant of wage discrimination, as well as the gender wage gap. In this article, we survey the extensive literature on this topic paying particular attention to the channels through which beauty may affect wage differentials. Overall our survey confirms the existence of a positive association between beauty and labor market outcomes such as earnings and employment opportunities (call-back rates). Further research is needed on the effect of attractiveness within occupations in order to provide more evidence on its productivity-enhancing channel of transmission and the effect this has on the gender wage gap, as well as on the endogeneity of beauty.

Reference: LIU Xing, SIERMINSKA Eva. Evaluating the effect of beauty on labor market outcomes: A review of the literature. CEPS/INSTEAD, 2014, Working Papers n°2014-11, 32 p.

Keywords:
Beauty premium,
Discrimination,
Gender differentials,
Occupational sorting,
Human capital model,
Physical attractiveness,
Wages,
Productivity,
Stereotypes,
Cross-country