Edited by Franklin G. Mixon and Richard J. Cebula
Chapter 18: Instructor attractiveness and institutional choice in economics: a decomposition approach
The chapter extends prior work examining the role that attractiveness plays in professors' occupational choices, particularly as they relate to institutional affiliations (that is, liberal arts versus research-oriented institutions). The authors investigate whether attractive instructors are more or less likely than their less attractive counterparts to seek and retain employment with liberal arts institutions, where the focus on teaching is greater, as opposed to research-oriented institutions. They employ a Blinder-type decomposition approach, which has been used in seminal studies to examine the presence or absence of gender- and race-related wage discrimination. They find that attractive instructors are more likely to seek/retain employment at liberal arts institutions, and that 80 percent of the difference in the probability estimates (favoring attractive instructors) stems from differences in how students perceive their physical attractiveness.
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