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09-06-2020 | Issue 4/2020

Review of Accounting Studies 4/2020

Gender and beauty in the financial analyst profession: evidence from the United States and China

Journal:
Review of Accounting Studies > Issue 4/2020
Authors:
Congcong Li, An-Ping Lin, Hai Lu, Kevin Veenstra
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Abstract

We examine how gender and beauty affect the likelihood of being voted as an All-Star in the financial analyst profession in both the United States and China. We find that female analysts are more likely to be voted as All-Star analysts in the United States, but good-looking female U.S. analysts are less likely to be voted as All-Stars. The conclusion is the opposite for Chinese analysts. We find that female analysts in China are less likely to be voted as All-Stars, but the likelihood increases with their facial attractiveness. These findings implicate a beauty penalty for female analysts in the United States and gender discrimination against female analysts in China. This career path evidence from a competitive financial industry suggests that gender and beauty biases may be rooted deeply in culture and the legal environment and should not be treated homogenously.

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