The economics of tattoos

By Felix Salmon
August 19, 2009
Drewbie left me a comment this morning talking about people interviewing for jobs and not getting them, just because they had visible tattoos. I can well believe it. But at the same time, precisely because of this discrimination, I tend to both expect and receive much better service from people with visible tattoos.

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Drewbie left me a comment this morning talking about people interviewing for jobs and not getting them, just because they had visible tattoos. I can well believe it. But at the same time, precisely because of this discrimination, I tend to both expect and receive much better service from people with visible tattoos. (Update: Thanks to Sebastian, in the comments, for spelling out the logic here.)

Businesses with tattooed employees are signalling to me that they have better service, and as a result I’m more likely to try them out. Given how well such messages work, how long can it be until the discrimination against the tattoos swings the other way, and it becomes easier to get a public-facing job if you have a tattoo? And if that happens, will the pendulum swing back to where we are right now, or will we just settle on a boring happy middle where no one cares about such things any longer?

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