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Searching for a job is a beauty contest

Busetta, Giovanni and Fiorillo, Fabio and Visalli, Emanuela (2013): Searching for a job is a beauty contest.

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Abstract

The paper deals with the impact of beauty on employability of people, stressing the first stage of the hiring process.

In particular, we studied if there exists a preference for attractive candidates and if it does whether it depends on sex, physical features and racial characteristics. We monitored all relevant agencies offering jobs in Italy from August 2011 to September 2012 sending 11008 CVs to 1542 advertised job openings. To do so, we construct fake CVs and we sent the same CV 8 times, changing only name and surname, address, and the photo included. In particular, we sent 4 CVs with photo of an attractive and unattractive man and women, and 4 CVs without photo of an Italian and a foreign men and women to each job opening.

Callbacks rates are statistically significant higher for attractive women and men than unattractive ones. Racial discrimination appears to be statistically relevant, but less than discrimination based on the physical features, especially for women.

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