October 2014

IZA DP No. 8605: "As Rare as a Panda": How Facial Attractiveness, Gender, and Occupation Affect Interview Callbacks at Chinese Firms

published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2015, 36(1), 68-85

This study explores how both gender and facial attractiveness affect job candidates' chances of obtaining interviews in China's dynamic Internet job board labor market. It examines how discrimination based on these attributes varies over occupation, location, and firms' ownership type and size. We employ a resume (correspondence) audit methodology. We establish the facial attractiveness of candidate photos via an online survey. 24,192 applications are submitted to 12,096 job postings across four occupations in 6 Chinese cities. We find sizable differences in the interview callback rates of attractive and unattractive job candidates. Job candidates with unattractive faces need to put in 33% more applications than their attractive counterparts to obtain the same number of interview callbacks. Women are preferred to men in three of our four occupations. Women on average need to put in only 91% as many applications as men to obtain the same number of interview callbacks.