NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Tall or Taller, Pretty or Prettier: Is Discrimination Absolute or Relative?

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 18123
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   LS

Using several microeconomic data sets from the United States and the Netherlands, and the examples of height and beauty, this study examines whether: 1) Absolute or relative differences in a characteristic are what affect labor-market and other outcomes; and 2) The effects of a characteristic change when all agents acquire more of it—become taller or better-looking. Confronted with a choice among individuals, decision-makers respond more to absolute than to relative differences among them. Also, an increase in the mean of a characteristic’s distribution does not alter market responses to differences in it.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18123

Published: IZA Journal of Labor Economics 2012, 1:2 doi:10.1186/2193-8997-1-2

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Botero, Ponce, and Shleifer w18119 Education and the Quality of Government
Hamermesh and Abrevaya w17327 "Beauty Is the Promise of Happiness"?
Castillo, Petrie, Torero, and Vesterlund w18093 Gender Differences in Bargaining Outcomes: A Field Experiment on Discrimination
Heckman and Yi w18100 Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Inequality in China
Blau, Brummund, and Liu w17993 Trends in Occupational Segregation by Gender 1970-2009: Adjusting for the Impact of Changes in the Occupational Coding System
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us