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Beauty perks: Physical appearance, earnings, and fringe benefits

Maryam Dilmaghani ()

Economics & Human Biology, 2020, vol. 38, issue C

Abstract: While the existence of a beauty premium is documented for many labour markets, there has been no study on the association of attractiveness with fringe benefits. This is a significant limitation of the extant literature, since fringe benefits are increasingly acknowledged as an integral part of the employees’ compensation, and a main indicator of job quality. Using the Canadian General Social Survey of 2016, the present paper examines how a self-rated measure of attractiveness associates with both labour earnings and fringe benefits. Employing a rich set of controls, no evidence for a beauty premium is found for men, while there is some evidence for a beauty penalty for women. However, attractiveness is found to positively predict the number of fringe benefits of both men and women. Therefore, at equal level of earnings, more attractive individuals appear able to secure higher quality jobs, as measured by the number of fringe benefits. The results, hence, suggest that the effects of attractiveness on labour market outcomes cannot be fully captured by a separate examination of earnings and the hiring process.

Keywords: Physical appearance; Beauty premium; Earnings; Fringe benefits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100889

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