This is a first study about labor discrimination against Afro-descendants in Peru. We randomly assigned Afro-Peruvian and white surnames and photographs (subjectively beautiful, homely looking, or not photos) to 3,828 fictitious résumés, sent for unskilled, technical, and professional occupations. We find an unprecedented, sizeable beauty premium in unskilled occupations (232.5 percent), no effect of looks in technical occupations, and a beauty penalty in professional occupations (–71.3 percent). Overall, whites receive 19.37 percent more callbacks than similarly qualified Afro-Peruvians; this racial discrimination affects only Afro-Peruvian females, and particularly those employed in technical occupations. These results remain unaltered when we restrict the sample to those markedly “Afro” surnames. Our findings unveil different dynamics of discrimination across job categories, which tend to be overlooked by the existing literature.
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We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions to an earlier version of this paper, and participants at the 34th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and the Viernes CIUP, especially Cynthia Sanborn. Pablo del Águila, Santiago Villafuerte, Fernando Larios, and Isamu Itosu provided valuable research assistance. The research reported herein was partially funded by the Universidad del Pacífico's Interdisciplinary Research Project (PII) 2014 (carried out together with Carlos Zelada) and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture (which also helped us collecting the photographs of Afro‐Peruvians used in this paper). All opinions contained in this paper are exclusively those of the authors.
This research was partially funded by the Universidad del Pacífico's Interdisciplinary Research Project (PII) 2014 and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.
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