Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business Administration



Committee Member

Carmen Astorne-Figari


Visible body art has well been documented in social sciences literature, but not well defined in an economic context. In section one, I establish the notion of a tattoo as a signaling device, and discuss potential pitfalls, (e.g. discrimination) of visible tattoos. I then examine the concurrent explosions in both the tattoo industry and the tattoo removal, and propose that if tattoo regret is a new paradigm, then in many instances, the initial decision to get "inked" exhibits time inconsistent preference behavior. I explore a quasi-hyperbolic discounting approach to this puzzle and discuss possible policy and market responses. Section two consists of a projected laboratory experiment, the purpose of which is to investigate whether people "discriminate" when interacting in ultimatum games. The main hypothesis is that people signaling with visible tattoos will be treated differently in these games as a result of participants' varying social preferences. This can be measured using contemporary inequality-aversion models. I propose a methodology to test this in which participants would be randomly assigned roles in one-shot games in which they are able to see a digital photograph of their partner. The implications of this study will have broad effects in both the labor market and in selective admissions processes.


Undergraduate Honor's Thesis

Library Comment

Honors thesis originally submitted to the Local University of Memphis Honor’s Thesis Repository.


Data is provided by the student.