Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1045–1073 | Cite as

Unexplored dimensions of discrimination in Europe: homosexuality and physical appearance

  • Eleonora Patacchini
  • Giuseppe Ragusa
  • Yves ZenouEmail author
Original Paper


We study labor-market discrimination of individuals with “specific” characteristics in Italy. We conduct a field experiment in two Italian cities: Rome and Milan, by sending “fake” CVs to real ads. We find that there is a strong penalty for homosexuals, i.e., about 30 % less chance to be called back compared to a heterosexual male and even more so if they are highly skilled. On the other hand, we find no penalty for homosexual females. We also find a beauty premium for females only but this premium is much lower when the “pretty” woman is skilled.


Discrimination Gays Lesbians Field experiment 

JEL Classifications

I10 J16 J71 



We thank the editor, Erdal Tekin, two anonymous referees as well as Tito Boeri, Alan Manning, and Jan van Ours for the very helpful comments. We are also grateful to Barbara Biasi, Paola Monti, and Rachele Poggi for excellent research assistance. We thank the Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleonora Patacchini
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Ragusa
    • 2
  • Yves Zenou
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Cornell University, EIEF and CEPRIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Luiss UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Stockholm University, IFN and CEPRStockholmSweden

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