Do employers reward physical attractiveness in transition countries

JournalEconomics and Human Biology
PublishedFebruary 2018
Number of Pages38-52

This paper studies the labour market returns to physical attractiveness using data from three transition countries of the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. I estimate a large positive effect of attractive looks on males probability of employment. Results from the most comprehensive model suggest a marginal effect of 11.1 percentage points. Using a partial identification approach, I show that this relationship is likely to be causal. After accounting for covariates, particularly measures of human capital, there is no evidence for a statistically significant link between females’ attractiveness and employment.