Article

Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school

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Abstract

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we investigate whether certain aspects of personal appearance (i.e., physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming) affect a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) in high school. When physical attractiveness is entered into the model as the only measure of personal appearance (as has been done in previous studies), it has a positive and statistically significant impact on GPA for female students and a positive yet not statistically significant effect for male students. Including personality and grooming, the effect of physical attractiveness turns negative for both groups, but is only statistically significant for males. For male and female students, being very well groomed is associated with a statistically significant GPA premium. While grooming has the largest effect on GPA for male students, having a very attractive personality is most important for female students. Numerous sensitivity analyses support the core results for grooming and personality. Possible explanations for these findings include teacher discrimination, differences in student objectives, and rational resource allocation decisions.

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... Few studies in economics are available regarding the relation between academic performance and beauty. Grade point average is predicted by physical attractiveness for grade school students of both genders in England (Hansen 2016) and for female but not for male students upon entering high school (French et al. 2009). However, the association between attractiveness and grade point average becomes negative for males and insignificant for females when personality and grooming are controlled for (French et al. 2009). ...
... Grade point average is predicted by physical attractiveness for grade school students of both genders in England (Hansen 2016) and for female but not for male students upon entering high school (French et al. 2009). However, the association between attractiveness and grade point average becomes negative for males and insignificant for females when personality and grooming are controlled for (French et al. 2009). High school facial attractiveness can account for the attractiveness premium up to the mid-30s (Scholz and Sicinski 2015). ...
... No correlation was found between beauty and productivity-related traits among lawyers who graduated from one law school (Biddle and Hamermesh 1998) and among experimental subjects (Mobius and Rosenblat 5 Many studies exist on the correlates of beauty in educational settings in the psychology literature. Physically attractive students receive higher grades in high school and college (French et al. 2009). Attractive individuals are consistently perceived or judged more favorably than the unattractive in a number of dimensions, including intelligence, academic potential, grades, confidence, extroversion, and various social skills (Jackson, Hunter, and Hodge 1995;Mobius and Rosenblat 2006;Ritts, Patterson, and Tubbs 1992). ...
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Beautiful people earn more. Surprisingly, this premium is larger for men than for women and is independent of the degree of customer contact. Overlooked is the possibility that beauty can influence college admissions. We explore this potential academic contributor to the labor market beauty earnings premium by sampling 1,800 social media profiles of alumni from universities ranked from 1 to 200 in China and the US. Chinese universities use only standardized test scores for admissions. In contrast, US universities use also grades and extracurricular activities, which are not necessarily beauty-blind. Consistent with beauty-blind admissions, alumni’s beauty is uncorrelated with the rank of college attended in China. In the US, White men from higher ranked colleges are better-looking. As expected, the correlation is insignificant for White men who attended tech colleges and is highest for those who attended private colleges. We also find that White women and minorities of either gender are not better-looking at higher ranked colleges. Our evidence suggests a college admissions contribution to the labor market beauty premium for US White men, but not for alumni in China of either gender, White women, or minorities of either gender in the US, or for White men who attended technical colleges. We discuss how a college admissions preference for athletes can explain our findings.
... Using data from a 1996 survey of Chinese workers in Shanghai, they find that spending on beauty related products such as clothing and cosmetics have only a small but positive effect on workers' earnings. 2 In a recent article about academic performance in high schools, French et al. (2009) found that better-groomed students earned higher grades. Interestingly, they found no beauty effect in GPAs after controlling for grooming and personality. ...
... In the context of labor economics, grooming can be thought of as a proxy for unobservable human capital characteristics not found in standard models of earnings determination. Typically, earnings 5 In a recent article about academic performance in high schools, French et al. (2009) found that better-groomed students earned higher grades. Interestingly, they found no beauty effect in GPAs after controlling for grooming and personality. ...
... On the other hand, a minority man who appears to be relatively better-groomed than his cohort could provide a strong signal to lessen the negative stereotypes. This finding is consistent with recent findings that well-groomed school children earned better grades in part due to the perception of their willingness to be compliant with teachers (French et al., 2009). ...
Article
To most economists, personal grooming is a non-market activity. The standard view is that time spent in non-market activities is counterproductive as it reduces work effort and job commitment (Becker, 1985). But grooming may be different. Grooming provides an important source of communication about workers, their values, social identities and personalities. There is reason to believe that certain productive personality traits may be inferred on the basis of personal grooming. In this paper, we use data from the American Time Use Survey's (2009) pooled cross-section 2003-2007 to investigate the effect of additional time spent grooming on earnings. The results show that the effect of grooming on earnings differs significantly by gender and race. These results cannot easily be reconciled with any one particular theory, but imply a complex interaction between several possible effects.
... The labor legislation regarded women as a 'specific labor force' because of their maternity and childcare roles and imposed restrictions around their employment (Ogloblin, 1999). By focusing on physical looks as a basis of differences in labour market outcomes, this study overcomes that caveat. 1 The literature has also considered the effect of attractiveness on other outcomes, including life satisfaction (Hamermesh and Abrevaya, 2013), electoral success in politics (King and Leigh, 2009;Berggren et al., 2010) and in professional organisations (Hamermesh, 2006), students' academic performance at high school (French et al., 2009) and at university (Cipriani and Zago, 2011), student's evaluations of instructors' performance (Hamermesh and Parker, 2005), criminal behaviour (Mocan and Tekin, 2010), etc. ...
... The measure of attractiveness used in this study is based on after-interview ratings of attractiveness. While this measure has been used in a number of previous studies (e.g., French et al., 2009;Mocan and Tekin, 2010), there is a concern that it may potentially be "contaminated by other information about the subject obtained during an interview (e.g. by socioeconomic status)" (Biddle and Hamermesh, 1998, pp. 178-179). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper studies the labour market returns to physical attractiveness using data from three transition countries of the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. I estimate a large positive effect of attractive looks on males' probability of employment. Results from the most comprehensive model suggest a marginal effect of 11.1 percentage points. Using a partial identification approach, I show that this relationship is likely to be causal. After accounting for covariates, particularly measures of human capital, there is no evidence for a statistically significant link between females' attractiveness and employment.
... Associations between perceived personality attractiveness and attainments have received far less attention than perceived physical attractiveness, and studies report mixed results [10,15]. Although not measuring an attractive personality per se, numerous studies have examined the effects of different dimensions of personality on educational and labor market outcomes [16][17][18][19][20][21]. ...
... A third wave of data was collected in 2001-02, roughly seven years after the first wave of data. The third wave included 15,197 respondents between the ages of 18 and 28. Finally, a fourth wave of data was collected roughly 14 years after Wave I. ...
Article
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Background: People who are perceived as good looking or as having a pleasant personality enjoy many advantages, including higher educational attainment. This study examines (1) whether associations between physical/personality attractiveness and educational attainment vary by parental socioeconomic resources and (2) whether parental socioeconomic resources predict these forms of attractiveness. Based on the theory of resource substitution with structural amplification, we hypothesized that both types of attractiveness would have a stronger association with educational attainment for people from disadvantaged backgrounds (resource substitution), but also that people from disadvantaged backgrounds would be less likely to be perceived as attractive (amplification). Methods: This study draws on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health-including repeated interviewer ratings of respondents' attractiveness-and trait-state structural equation models to examine the moderation (substitution) and mediation (amplification) of physical and personality attractiveness in the link between parental socioeconomic resources and educational attainment. Results: Both perceived personality and physical attractiveness have stronger associations with educational attainment for people from families with lower levels of parental education (substitution). Further, parental education and income are associated with both dimensions of perceived attractiveness, and personality attractiveness is positively associated with educational attainment (amplification). Results do not differ by sex and race/ethnicity. Further, associations between perceived attractiveness and educational attainment remain after accounting for unmeasured family-level confounders using a sibling fixed-effects model. Conclusions: Perceived attractiveness, particularly personality attractiveness, is a more important psychosocial resource for educational attainment for people from disadvantaged backgrounds than for people from advantaged backgrounds. People from disadvantaged backgrounds, however, are less likely to be perceived as attractive than people from advantaged backgrounds.
... f beauty is productivity enhancing in occupations involving extensive contact with the public (e.g. fashion models, entertainers, newscasters ). If beauty is correlated with personality attractiveness and grooming, the beauty premium or plainness penalty estimated in previous studies may be partially picking up the effects of these omitted factors. French et al. (2009) find that when examined alone, beauty is positively related to high school grade point average among a sample of young adults. The effects of beauty turn negative or lose statistical significance, however, when personality attractiveness and grooming are added to the model. A statistically significant grade premium is present for well-g ...
... ipants in the labor market — they average about 1.5 years at their current job and about 6 years since they first had a regular job. 8 Second, personal traits may be more volatile among this age group than among older workers. If so, then the recorded characteristics may not fully reflect the traits that will ultimately determine long-run earnings. French et al. (2009) reported that the changes in appearance ratings for Add Health respondents across Waves 1 and 3 were somewhat moreTable 1. Construction of analysis sample N = 15,170 respondents in Waves 1 and 3 of Add Health ↓ N = 14,390 after excluding respondents who were disabled, had poor self-reported health, ever had a physical or nervous conditi ...
This paper examines the influence of three non-cognitive personal traits - beauty, personality, and grooming - on the labor market earnings of young adults. It extends the analyses of Hamermesh and Biddle [1994, American Economic Review 84(5): 1174–1194] and others who focus primarily on the effects of beauty on labor market earnings. We find that personality and grooming significantly affect wages, and their inclusion in a model of wage determination reduces somewhat the effects of beauty. We also find some evidence of employer discrimination based on these traits in the setting of wages.
... Selbst unter der Kontrolle von Struktur-, Prozess-und Persönlichkeitsmerkmalen 12 blieb der Einfluss physischer Attraktivität bestehen . French et al. (2009) untersuchten den Einfluss von körperlicher Attraktivität auf den "cumulated grade point average" (GPA) eines Schülers in der High School in den USA. Für die Analyse wurden Daten von "Add Health" genutzt, einer schulischen Längstschnittstudie von jugendlichen gesundheitsbezogenen Verhaltensweisen und deren Folgen für das spätere Leben. ...
Book
Der Band befasst sich mit der ganzen Bandbreite an fachlich diversen Themen und gibt einen Überblick über den empirischen Forschungsstand aus der Perspektive der verschiedenen Fachdisziplinen. Das Bestreben hierbei ist es, zum einen eine möglichst breite (wissenschaftliche) Öffentlichkeit zu erreichen und das Bewusstsein für ein Thema zu erhöhen, welches im Alltag große Wirkungsmacht entfalten kann. Dabei handelt es sich bei physischer Attraktivität um einen häufig unterschätzen Faktor des Sozialen. Das Buch schließt die wissenschaftliche Lücke bezüglich der systematischen Aufarbeitung der quantitativ empirischen Forschung zur Wirkung physischer Attraktivität, damit es einen – für die wissenschaftliche Öffentlichkeit zugänglichen – „Grundkanon“ der bestehenden Forschung gibt, der Andere zur Replikation und zum kritischen Diskurs anhalten soll. The book covers a wide range of topics and provides an overview of the empirical state of research from the perspective of different disciplines. The aim is to reach a broad (scientific) audience on the one hand, and on the other to raise awareness of a topic that can have a significant impact on everyday life. Physical attractiveness is an often underestimated social factor. The book closes the scientific gap of a systematic treatment of quantitative empirical research on the effects of physical attractiveness, so that a "basic canon" of existing research is available - accessible to the scientific public - which should stimulate others to replicate and to engage in critical discourse.
... Selbst unter der Kontrolle von Struktur-, Prozess-und Persönlichkeitsmerkmalen 12 blieb der Einfluss physischer Attraktivität bestehen . French et al. (2009) untersuchten den Einfluss von körperlicher Attraktivität auf den "cumulated grade point average" (GPA) eines Schülers in der High School in den USA. Für die Analyse wurden Daten von "Add Health" genutzt, einer schulischen Längstschnittstudie von jugendlichen gesundheitsbezogenen Verhaltensweisen und deren Folgen für das spätere Leben. ...
Chapter
Die Wettbewerbsvorteile attraktiver Menschen in den unterschiedlichsten Lebensbereichen sind über fünf grundlegende Mechanismen vermittelt: Den Attractiveness Consensus, den Attractiveness Attention Boost, den Attractiveness Stereotype, den Attractiveness Glamour Effect und den Attractiveness Treatment Advantage. Diese Mechanismen werden im Beitrag vorgestellt und diskutiert. Darüber hinaus werden außerdem Handlungssituationen und -kontexte besprochen, in denen sich die positiven Wirkungen physischer Attraktivität nicht voll entfalten können und sich teilweise sogar in ihr Gegenteil verkehren. Es handelt sich dabei um den Attractiveness Frog Pond Effect, die Beauty Penalty, das Ugliness Premium und den Beauty is Beastly Effect. Der Beitrag schließt mit einigen grundsätzlichen normativen und politischen Betrachtungen zum Attractiveness Competition Advantage
... Interviewers are instructed that physical appearance measures involve anything on or about a person that is visible to a casual onlooker (Waite et al., 2006). The physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming measures from Add Health have been using to study academic performance in high school (French et al., 2009). Few studies have used these or similar interviewer-assessed measures of personal attributes to better understand aging processes, yet these measures can provide a snapshot of functional limitations and both physical (Feng et al., 2016) and cognitive aging (Crimmins et al., 2011). ...
Article
Objectives: This study was aimed to describe the interviewer-assessed measures present in the 2015/2016 Round of National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), outline strengths of interviewer-assessed measures, and explore how interviewer assessments in the domains of home environment and personal characteristics are associated with older adult health. Method: Data come from the 2015/2016 Round of the NSHAP. Results: We provide descriptive results from the interviewer assessments of personal attributes, indoor home environment, and outdoor residential context. We present an illustrative analysis of reports of falls, a health outcome that might be predicted by characteristics assessed by the interviewer, and we suggest directions for further research. Discussion: Interviewer assessments collected in NSHAP are useful as proxy measures and can be used in combination with respondent's reports and ecological measures to generate insights into healthy aging.
... Attractiveness effects go beyond perceptions and influence life success and performance. More attractive students are perceived as being more capable (Jackson, Hunter, and Hodge, 1995;Kenealy, Frude, and Shaw, 1988), and earn higher GPAs in high school (French et al., 2009), in addition to receiving higher scores on standardized tests (Ritts, Patterson, and Tubbs, 1992). More attractive individuals may also have greater levels of educational attainment, with evidence suggesting those who are viewed as better looking spend significantly more time in school (Judge, Hurst, and Simon, 2009;Umberson and Hughes, 1987). ...
Article
Objective: Scholarship in psychology on halo effects demonstrates the powerful effects attractiveness has on social interactions. Here, we consider the influence of physical attractiveness on the development of social capital through social joining. With the unavoidable nature of attractiveness biases, we argue that more physically attractive individuals should be increasingly likely to join social organizations, which have been shown to be important parts of broader social engagement and the growth of social capital. Methods: Utilizing the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study and an original survey experiment, we find that individuals who are rated as more attractive are consistently more likely to participate in organizations, particularly early in adult life. These effects persist when controlling for socioeconomic variables like income and education. Results: Our experimental results bolster these findings, showing that more attractive individuals are more likely to be invited to join both organizations and informal gatherings. Conclusions: These findings suggest a further mechanism through which the development of social capital differs between individuals in society.
... 26 Canning's methodology, a retrospective review of admission data, is similarly plagued by confounders that correlate with obesity and facial unattractiveness, such as letters of recommendation, 27 extracurricular activities, 26 and grades. 28 This problem was avoided in our study by use of fictitious applicants, the randomization of all academic variables, the exclusion of letters of recommendation, and the inclusion of only noninfluencing extracurricular activities and premedical accomplishments. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To evaluate for appearance-based discrimination in the selection of radiology residents. Method: A deception study simulating the resident selection process to examine the impact of attractiveness and obesity on resident selection. Seventy-four core faculty from five academic radiology departments reviewed mock residency applications in September and October 2017. Applications included demographic information and photograph, representing a prespecified distribution of facial attractiveness and obesity, combined with randomized academic and supporting variables. Reviewers independently scored applications for interview desirability. Reviewer scores and application variables were compared using linear mixed fixed and random effects models. Results: Reviewers evaluated 5,447 applications (mean: 74 applications per reviewer). United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 scores were the strongest predictor of reviewer rating (B = 0.35 [standard error (SE) = 0.029]). Applicant facial attractiveness strongly predicted rating (attractive versus unattractive, B = 0.30 [SE = 0.056]; neutral versus unattractive, B = 0.13 [SE = 0.028]). Less influential but still significant predictors included race/ethnicity (B = 0.25 [SE = 0.059]), preclinical class rank (B = 0.25 [SE = 0.040]), clinical clerkship grades (B = 0.23 [SE = 0.034]), Alpha Omega Alpha membership (B = 0.21 [SE = 0.032]), and obesity (versus not obese) (B = -0.14 [SE = 0.024]). Conclusions: Findings provide preliminary evidence of discrimination against facially unattractive and obese applicants in radiology resident selection. Obesity and attractiveness were as influential in applicant selection for interview as traditional medical school performance metrics. Selection committees should invoke strategies to detect and manage appearance-based bias.
... Scholars program. Use of multiple raters is desirable to increase reliability, and interviewers commonly rate attractiveness in similar studies (Table A1; Biddle & Hamermesh, 1998;French, Robins, Homer, & Tapsell, 2009;Hamermesh & Biddle, 1994;Mobius & Rosenblat, 2006). The ratings are based on the WLS participants' high school yearbook photographs from 1957. ...
Article
Research summary Using a two study approach, we examine the relationship between attractiveness and key aspects of self‐employment. In Study 1, in which individuals rated the attractiveness of participants at the beginning of the interview, our results indicate that self‐employed males are more likely to be attractive and that more attractive self‐employed males have higher incomes. In Study 2, our findings indicate that at low levels of attractiveness, higher IQ self‐employed males have higher incomes in 1974; however, differences in income from IQ declined as attractiveness increases. We do not find differences for either outcome for females in either study. Managerial summary This research investigates the relationship between attractiveness and self‐employment. The results indicate that self‐employed males are more likely to be considered attractive than their female counterparts, and that attractive self‐employed males have higher incomes than self‐employed males who were not considered attractive. Additionally, our results reveal that IQ is positively associated with income for less attractive self‐employed males, however this relationship decreases in strength as attractiveness increases. Interestingly, our results do not indicate that attractiveness influences either the likelihood of self‐employment, or performance within self‐employment, for females. Our findings highlight the importance that attractiveness can play within the self‐employment process, as well as the relevance of considering the role that social norms regarding gender might have in determining who pursues, and is successful in, self‐employment.
... The only binary outcome is employment status, which is estimated with probit and follows a similar specification. Because earlier research has shown that gender differences are present with labor market discrimination, labor supply and earnings (French et al., 2009;Hamermesh and Biddle, 1994;Robins et al., 2011), we analyze men and women separately. ...
Article
Do job applicants and employees with tattoos suffer a penalty in the labor market because of their body art? Previous research has found that tattooed people are widely perceived by hiring managers to be less employable than people without tattoos. This is especially the case for those who have visible tattoos (particularly offensive ones) that are difficult to conceal. Given this backdrop, our research surprisingly found no empirical evidence of employment, wage or earnings discrimination against people with various types of tattoos. In our sample, and considering a variety of alternative estimation techniques, not only are the wages and annual earnings of tattooed employees in the United States statistically indistinguishable from the wages and annual earnings of employees without tattoos, but tattooed individuals are also just as likely, and in some instances even more likely, to gain employment. These results suggest that, contrary to popular opinion as well as research findings with hiring managers and customers, having a tattoo does not appear to be associated with disadvantage or discrimination in the labor market.
... Other studies have found a return to beauty in political elections and campaigns ( Hamermesh 2006;Berggren, Jordahl and Poutvaara 2010). Hamermesh and Parker (2005) examine the effects of beauty on college professors' teaching evaluations, and find that attractive professors receive higher ratings in teaching evaluations, while French et al. (2009) provide evidence that high school students with attractive faces, favorable personalities, and good grooming tend to have higher GPAs. According to previous studies, physical attractiveness affects labor earnings. ...
... The literature also indicates that appearance is related to student academic outcomes, particularly grades. French et al. (2009) use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to show that better looking, better-groomed high-school students are more likely to get higher grades. ...
Article
Studies have shown that attractive people have higher earnings. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that physical attractiveness proxies for unobserved productivity. We compare the impact of attractiveness on grades in college courses where instructors directly observe the student’s appearance to courses where they do not. We find that in traditional classrooms, appearance matters: both below- and above-average appearance female students earn lower grades. In regressions including student fixed effects, we find that students of above-average appearance earn significantly lower grades in online course environments compared to traditional courses, a finding driven mainly by courses taught by male instructors. Our empirical evidence provides little support for the hypothesis that appearance is a proxy for productive traits, but instead suggests that the return to appearance is due to discrimination.
... The methods used in gender discrimination literature have similarly been applied to study the impact of attractiveness. Cipriani and Zago (2011) expanded on earlier studies showing that pretty students receive higher grades (French et al, 2009). They investigated exam grades of undergraduate students at an Italian university, relating them to ratings of their physical attractiveness. ...
Article
In this study, data on grades awarded for bachelor and master theses at a large Polish university were used to identify possible discrimination on gender or physical attractiveness. The focus is on the gap between the grades awarded by the advisor (who knows the student personally) and the referee (who typically does not, so that gender is less salient and attractiveness is not observable). This provides an excellent control for actual quality of the work, which is often problematic in previous literature. Observations on nearly 15,000 students are available, of which some 2600 also have their physical attractiveness rated and are included in the analysis. It can thus be checked if the advisor–referee grade gap depends on students’ gender and attractiveness, also in interaction with their genders. Based on stereotypes discussed in the literature one can hypothesise that females are treated relatively favourably by advisors (and males by referees). Likewise, it can be expected that physically attractive individuals’ advisors award them relatively high grades. Overall, we observe some evidence that females indeed get relatively high grades from advisors and no evidence of influence of physical attractiveness.
... In addition to direct effects, physical attractiveness may also affect mortality and morbidity via SES. For example, a physically attractive person is more likely to be employed and earn more (Hamermesh and Biddle 1994;Mobius and Rosenblat 2006;Judge et al. 2009), marry earlier, enjoy a more stable marriage, have more children (Jaeger 2011;Jokela 2009), perform better academically in high school (French et al. 2009), and achieve a higher socioeconomic status (Hauser 2009). Given that SES is one of the most significant and important predictors for mortality and morbidity (Link and Phelan 1995), it may be an indirect channel through which physical attractiveness affects health outcomes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite considerable evidence suggesting that physical characteristics, such as facial attractiveness, and psychological characteristics, such as personality and intelligence, are associated with mortality and health, few studies have integrated these factors into a single model. Using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), the present study explores which, and to what extent, individual characteristics are associated with various dimensions of health. Moreover, this study compares and contrasts the results from the WLS with results from the Americans’ Changing Lives (ACL) study. Results from parametric proportional hazard regressions indicate that, even after accounting for SES and health behavior risk factors, two personality traits – neuroticism and openness – matter for men’s mortality in the WLS. Also, higher levels of physical attractiveness significantly reduced the hazard of mortality for women. However, intelligence had a trivial effect on all health outcomes in both sexes. Similar patterns were observed in the ACL.
... Facial attractiveness is often one of the primary markers of a person's popularity (Hartup: 1970(Hartup: , 1983, and attractiveness can denote popularity (Babad, 2001) as it is anecdotally a factor in happiness (Feingold, 1983). Grooming to look more attractive has some correlation with higher academic performance and social acceptance (French, Robins, Homer, & Tampsell, 2009). Attractiveness even extends into digital interaction, where flirting and the usage of personal photos on social networking sites is deemed crucial to being liked and accepted online (Whity, 2004). ...
... 20 Appearance ratings are also provided in Waves 3 and 4. The earlier measure is used in this analysis because it precedes entry into marriage. French et al (2009) find that the appearance rates are highly stable across the three reports. 21 The results are not reported separately by college education largely because of sample size constraints. ...
Article
This paper analyses how individual characteristics vary with within-couple age differences. Earnings analysis of prime-aged married couples in the 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 Decennial Censuses finds that male earnings decrease with within-couple age difference while female earnings increase with within-couple age difference. These patterns are true both for marriages in which the man is older and in which the woman is older. They are also robust across all four Census years. As an explanation for these patterns, we suggest that individuals typically prefer similarly aged spouses. Individuals who search and match outside similarly-aged partners therefore tend to be negatively selected. Women in differently-aged couples have higher earnings not because of positive selection, but because their effort increases in response to partnering with a lower earning man. We test whether there is negative selection into differently-aged couples using three measures: average earnings per hour in occupation using Census data, cognitive skills assessments from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort (NLSY79), and measures of physical appearance from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The point estimates suggest negative selection on all of these characteristics, although statistical significance varies by outcome and sample.
... 18 Appearance ratings are also provided in Waves 3 and 4. The earlier measure is used in this analysis because it precedes entry into marriage. French et al (2009) find that the appearance rates are highly stable across the three reports. ...
Article
In direct contrast to conventional wisdom and most economic models of gender differences in age of marriage, we present robust evidence that men and women who are married to differently-aged spouses are negatively selected. Earnings analysis of married couples in the 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 Decennial Censuses finds that male earnings decrease with within-couple age difference, regardless of whether the man is older or younger than his wife. In contrast, female earnings increase with within-couple age difference. We argue and present evidence that women in differently-aged couples have higher earnings not because of positive selection, but because their hours of work increase in response to partnering with a lower earning man. We test for negative selection into differently-aged couples using three measures: average earnings per hour in occupation using Census data, cognitive skills assessments from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort (NLSY79), and measures of physical appearance from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The point estimates indicate negative selection on all of these characteristics, although statistical significance varies by outcome and sample.
... There is some evidence that beauty matters for social interaction, such as for marriage outcomes(Banerjee et al. 2009), online dating(Hitsch, Hortaçsu, and Ariely2010), and academic success(French et al. 2009). Consistent with the psychology literature, economists have also found that physical beauty elicits altruistic, trusting, and cooperative behavior in economic games(Solnick and Schweitzer 1999;Wilson and Eckel 2006;Andreoni and Petrie 2008;Eckel and Petrie 2011). ...
Article
We provide new evidence on the link between beauty and hiring practices in the labor market. Specifically, we study if people with less attractive faces are less likely to be contacted after submitting a resume. Our empirical strategy is based on an experimental approach. We sent fictitious resumes with pictures of attractive and unattractive faces to real job openings in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We find that attractive people receive 36 percent more responses (callbacks) than unattractive people. Given the experimental design, this difference can be attributed to the exogenous manipulation of facial attractiveness of our fake job applicants.
... Biases towards those who are physically attractive are well-documented and robust. Physical attractiveness has been found to influence teacher judgements of students and student academic achievement, 1 voter preferences for candidate, jury judgements in mock trials as well as interviewer judgements of employee candidates and subsequent career success and salaries. 2,3 Additionally, perceptions by others of one's attractiveness have been linked to to both physical and mental health. ...
Article
Being perceived by others as unattractive is associated with negative health and social consequences. Overweight individuals may be more likely to be perceived by others as unattractive, thereby further endangering their well-being. Our objective was to determine whether body mass index (BMI) was associated with perceptions by others regarding attractiveness and whether this relationship was similar across race/ethnicity, gender, and time. We analyzed Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative longitudinal study of adolescents. We used participant gender- and race/ethnicity-stratified multinomial logistic regression to examine the association between BMI and interviewer-rated attractiveness (1 = unattractive, 2 = average, 3 = attractive, 4 = very attractive) controlling for participant age, household income, and maternal education. BMI was positively associated with risk of being categorized as unattractive (relative to very attractive) by the interviewer in black (Wave I: relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.26, CI: 1.18, 1.33; Wave III: RRR = 1.14, CI: 1.08, 1.20), Hispanic (Wave I: RRR = 1.23, CI: 1.11, 1.36; Wave III: RRR = 1.22, CI: 1.12, 1.34), and white (Wave I: RRR = 1.25, CI: 1.19, 1.32; Wave III: RRR = 1.22, CI: 1.17, 1.28) females in both waves of data collection. Only in African American females, the risk of being rated unattractive with increasing BMI declined significantly between waves (p = .00018). Trends were similar in males, although the magnitude of risk was smaller and nonsignificant in most groups. Interviewers were more likely to rate those with higher BMIs as unattractive; this finding was similar across gender and racial/ethnic groups with few exceptions and was stable across time.
Article
Using the Canadian General Social Survey of 2016, a large nationally representative dataset, the present paper examines how satisfaction with one’s physical appearance correlates with the division of household chores, as well as satisfaction with this division. The results show that satisfaction with one’s physical appearance negatively associates with the level of contribution to household chores for female partners. In addition, holding the number of chores constant, satisfaction with one’s physical appearance predicts a greater satisfaction with the division of chores for both genders, with a somewhat larger marginal effect for male partners. Hence, the results provide evidence for the positive influence of physical appearance on intra-household bargaining power. The implications are discussed, and venues for future research are proposed.
Chapter
Dieser Beitrag untersucht, welchen Einfluss physische Attraktivität auf die Notenvergabe im Schulkontext und bei Personalauswahlentscheidungen hat. Es wird gezeigt, dass Attraktivität direkt und indirekt einen Einfluss auf die Erwerbsbiografie nehmen kann. Erstens sind die zentralen Wirkmechanismen von Attraktivität direkt in den einzelnen Prozessstufen des Bewerbungsverfahrens mit Bewerbungsfotos wirksam. Zweitens erstreckt sich der Einfluss von Attraktivität über die gesamte Lebensphase und beginnt schon vor dem Start der Erwerbsbiografie bereits in der Phase des Erwerbs von Bildungszertifikaten. Attraktive Personen erhalten als Kinder mehr Aufmerksamkeit und Unterstützung und können die daraus entstehenden Wettbewerbsvorteile beim Eintritt in den Arbeitsmarkt für ihre Karriere nutzen. Attraktive Personen haben monetäre Vorteile auf dem Arbeitsmarkt und unattraktive monetäre Nachteile von teilweise erheblichem Ausmaß. Physische Attraktivität kann daher, bezogen auf die Erwerbsbiografie, auch einen Faktor in der Produktion sozialer Ungleichheit darstellen.
Article
The consequences of physical attractiveness (PA) are ubiquitous, however not often become a topic of discussion. The consequences, in general, are attributed to preference or discrimination without much deliberation. There is a very thin line between the two. The study makes an attempt to distinguish between preference and discrimination based on PA. In an organizational context, this distinction seems warranted since PA does impact work-related outcomes. The distinction was addressed by examining published studies between 1970 and 2021 on PA in the management and economics field of research. The study highlights when and how preference turns into discrimination and furthers discusses the causes of such discrimination. The causes are equivalent to antecedents; the antecedent to being physically attractive is mostly genes. The antecedents to the discrimination are the attributions that we have associated with being physically attractive. The study highlights these attributions and the reasons for these attributions. To completely understand a phenomenon, it is essential to understand what causes it. Therefore, this study tries to understand what causes discrimination based on PA. The study has implications for diversity and inclusion literature and practice. It also adds to the literature on PA.
Article
We investigate the contribution of college admissions to the labor market beauty premium. We sampled 1800 social media profiles of students from universities ranked from 1 to 200 in China and the US. Chinese universities use standardized test scores for admissions. US universities use also extracurricular activities. Consistent with beauty‐blind admissions, alumni's beauty is uncorrelated with the rank of the school they attended in China. In the US, White men who attended high‐ranked schools are better looking, especially attendees of private schools. A one percentage point increase in beauty rank corresponds to a half‐point increase in the school rank.
Article
Purpose The present paper examines how satisfaction with one's physical appearance associates with hopeful feelings, as well as optimism. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses the Canadian General Social Survey of 2016 and multivariate regression analysis. Findings At constant levels of current socioeconomic attainment, perceived intergenerational social mobility and self-confidence, satisfaction with one's physical appearance is found to associate with a greater hopefulness and more optimistic expectations about the future. Originality/value The present paper is the first economic study of how physical appearance associates with hope and optimism.
Article
While the existence of a beauty premium is documented for many labour markets, there has been no study on the association of attractiveness with fringe benefits. This is a significant limitation of the extant literature, since fringe benefits are increasingly acknowledged as an integral part of the employees’ compensation, and a main indicator of job quality. Using the Canadian General Social Survey of 2016, the present paper examines how a self-rated measure of attractiveness associates with both labour earnings and fringe benefits. Employing a rich set of controls, no evidence for a beauty premium is found for men, while there is some evidence for a beauty penalty for women. However, attractiveness is found to positively predict the number of fringe benefits of both men and women. Therefore, at equal level of earnings, more attractive individuals appear able to secure higher quality jobs, as measured by the number of fringe benefits. The results, hence, suggest that the effects of attractiveness on labour market outcomes cannot be fully captured by a separate examination of earnings and the hiring process.
Article
We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to investigate the association between having acne in middle to high school and subsequent educational and labor market outcomes. We find that having acne is strongly positively associated with overall grade point average in high school, grades in high school English, history, math, and science, and the completion of a college degree. We also find evidence that acne is associated with higher personal labor market earnings for women. We further explore a possible channel through which acne may affect education and earnings.
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The accumulated evidence suggests that lighter-complected blacks are more successful in our society than their darker-complected counterparts. Prior research also documents a correlation between physical attractiveness and socio-economic status attainment. The current study bridges the literatures on colorism and physical attraction and examines the complex relationship between skin color, physical attractiveness, gender, on the one hand, and three indicators of status attainment (educational attainment, hourly wage and job quality), on the other, for black young adults. Controls include family SES, family structure, parent–child relationships, and other covariates. Analysis was conducted in STATA and via structural equation modeling using MPlus software. The analysis shows that lighter-skinned young blacks attain a higher educational level, receive higher wages and enjoy better-quality jobs than their darker skinned co-ethnics. Moreover, the results show that more physically attractive young blacks, especially women, are advantaged in terms of educational attainment, wages, and job quality than their less physically attractive counterparts. These findings suggest that, among blacks, the skin color stratification coincides with that based on physical attractiveness to a large degree, with the implication being that the skin tone is a predictor of both physical attractiveness and social status for black men and women.
Article
Physical attractiveness is an important social factor in our daily interactions. Scholars in social psychology provide evidence that attractiveness stereotypes and the “halo effect” are prominent in affecting the traits we attribute to others. However, the interest in attractiveness has not directly filtered down to questions of political behavior beyond candidates and elites. Utilizing measures of attractiveness across multiple surveys, we examine the relationship between attractiveness and political beliefs. Controlling for socioeconomic status, we find that more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican. These findings suggest an additional mechanism for political socialization that has further implications for understanding how the body intertwines with the social nature of politics.
Chapter
We, as a society, have a deeply rooted obsession with beauty. This insurmountable fascination has further been fueled by the mass media and advances in technology, with American men and women spending billions of dollars every year on beauty enhancing measures. Although individuals will always vary to some degree when rating others’ attractiveness, there is a remarkable tendency to generally agree on what constitutes human beauty. The ability to categorize and quantify beauty has allowed researchers to show us that there are clear advantages of being physically attractive. Physically beautiful people are consistently judged to be qualitatively superior, with associated traits of enhanced mental acuity, moral goodness, and interpersonal skills. In addition, there is powerful evidence that attractiveness not only affects opinions of others, but also permeates actions towards others. Humans are clearly hardwired to respond more favorably to attractive people, and many of our patients are driven to our clinics to enhance their looks and improve their quality of life. An understanding of the historical aspects, science, and implications of beauty is quintessential for dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and others who practice aesthetic medicine.
Article
The popularity of tattooing has increased substantially in recent years, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Moreover, tattooed images are permanent unless the individual opts for expensive, time consuming, and painful removal procedures. Given the increasing popularity of tattooing, and the permanent nature of this action, it is of interest to know whether tattooed workers are more or less likely to be employed and, conditional on employment, if they receive wages that are different from the wages of their non-tattooed peers. To investigate these questions, we analyze two large data sets—from the United States and Australia—with measures of tattoo status, employment, earnings, and other pertinent variables. Regardless of country, gender, specific measures, or estimation technique, the results consistently show that having a tattoo is negatively and significantly related to employment and earnings in bivariate analyses, but the estimates become smaller and nonsignificant after controlling for human capital, occupation, behavioral choices, lifestyle factors, and other individual characteristics related to labor market outcomes. Various robustness checks confirm the stability of the core findings. These results suggest that, once differences in personal characteristics are taken into account, tattooed and non-tattooed workers are treated similarly in the labor market. We offer suggestions for improving future surveys to enable a better understanding of the relationships between tattooed workers and their labor market outcomes.
Article
Background: Recent economic work suggests a role for personality traits in determining socioeconomic outcomes. Much of this work has considered labor market outcomes, human capital accumulation, and, to some extent, health outcomes. No economic studies have explored the role of the Big Five taxonomy in alcohol use and misuse. Given defining characteristics of the Big Five, they are plausibly linked with these outcomes. Alcohol misuse is associated with large social costs through healthcare costs, traffic fatalities, violence, and reduced labor market productivity. Thus, understanding risk factors for such use is warranted. Aims of the study: To investigate the associations between the Big Five, and measures of alcohol use and alcohol misuse. Methods: We obtain data on older adults 50 years and older from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Our outcomes include one measure of use (any use) and two measures of misuse (heavy drinking and binge drinking). Comparing across different measures of alcohol consumption can shed light on whether the Big Five are related to moderate alcohol use that need not impose social costs or alcohol misuse that may indeed impose such costs. A randomly selected sub-set of respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire developed for the Midlife Development Inventory in either the 2006 or 2008 round of the HRS. We use information collected in this instrument to generate our independent variables of primary interest: agreeableness, openness, extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness traits. Results: We find that the Big Five personality traits are linked with measures of both alcohol use and alcohol misuse. We observe substantial heterogeneity in the associations by personality traits. Specifically, agreeableness is associated with increased risk for alcohol use/misuse while extraversion and openness are negatively associated with risk for these patterns of alcohol consumption. We find no evidence that neuroticism or contentiousness predict alcohol use and misuse. We identify heterogeneity in the associations across demographic characteristics. Discussion: We find associations between the Big Five and our measures of alcohol use and alcohol misuse. Our findings are subject to several data limitations, however. Although the Big Five personality taxonomy is well utilized, it has known limitations. Even in a survey as rich as the HRS, it is likely that we are unable to control for all important variables leading to omitted variable bias. Because we focus on a sample of older adults, the generalizability of our findings to other demographic groups is not clear. Implications for healthcare provision and use: Agreeableness is significantly associated with alcohol use and misuse, which could lead to greater utilization of healthcare services and thus increased costs to the healthcare system. Implication for health policies: Healthcare providers should consider aspects of personality when developing and communicating treatment options. Moreover, psychology and economic work documents that interventions can alter aspects of personality even among older adults. Further research on and implementation of effective interventions may be warranted. Implications for further research: Future studies should examine the implications of personality for a broader range of outcomes. Survey administrators could consider including validated measures of personality in surveys to facilitate such research.
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between attitudes to academic achievement and post university success using perceptions of attractiveness, gender, ethnic identity, personality, and social acceptance as antecedents. Design/methodology/approach An online questionnaire was completed by male ( N =116) and female ( N =126) university students from various cultural backgrounds. To evaluate the proposed relationships, multiple regression analysis was used. Findings The findings suggest that attractiveness is related to attitudes to academic achievement and success through its association with social appeal and acceptance. Ethnic identity is also related to both academic achievement and post university success. Personality is not positively related to academic achievement. Finally, social acceptance is positively related to academic achievement for males and to success for females. Research limitations/implications Whilst the survey targeted students from various cultural backgrounds studying in Australia, it did not look at university students from other countries. A cross‐cultural perspective could reveal further differences in attitudes. Originality/value This study links attractiveness and academic achievement theories. The findings have implications for tertiary institutions and suggest academics and policy‐makers to vigorously promote core personality and values such as intelligence, communication skills, and sincerity, rather than allow superficial values such as attractiveness to be placed at the centre stage of students' endeavour.
Article
Evolutionary explanations regarding the differential preference for particular traits hold that preferences arose due to traits’ association with increased potential for reproductive fitness. Assessments of physical attractiveness have been shown to be related to perceived and measured levels of health, an important fitness-related trait. Despite the robust association between physical attractiveness and health observed in the extant literature, a number of theoretical and methodological concerns remain. Specifically, the research in this area possesses a lack of specificity in terms of measures of health, a reliance on artificial social interactions in assessing physical attractiveness, a relatively infrequent use of non-student samples, and has left unaddressed the confounding effects of raters of attractiveness. Using these concerns as a springboard, the current study employed data from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health (N ≈ 15,000; aged 25 to 34 years) to assess the relationship between physical attractiveness and various specific and overall measures of health. Logistic and OLS regression models illustrated a robust association between physical attractiveness and various measures of health, controlling for a variety of confounding factors. In sum, the more attractive a respondent was rated, the less likely he or she was to report being diagnosed with a wide range of chronic diseases and neuropsychological disorders. Importantly, this finding was observed for both sexes. These analyses provide further support for physical attractiveness as a phenotypic marker of health. The findings are discussed in reference to evolutionary theory and the limitations of the study and future research suggestions are also addressed.
Article
This article analyzes the effect of three aspects of physical attractiveness (facial attractiveness, Body Mass Index and height) on socio-economic and marital success over the life course. In a sample of high school graduates from Wisconsin followed from their late teens and until their mid-60s, I find that (1. taller men have higher earnings than shorter men throughout their careers, (2. women with more attractive faces and women with lower Body Mass Index have higher socio-economic status late in their careers, (3. men and women with more attractive faces are more likely to be married in youth, and (4. men and women's physical attractiveness is unrelated to the income and socio-economic status of their spouses. These results suggest that, first, physical attractiveness matters throughout the life course, second, attractiveness does not have a large quantitative effect on socio-economic and marital outcomes and third, different aspects of physical attractiveness matter differently for men and women.
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Physical attractiveness has been linked to mental health, intelligence, ability and performance. Most of the studies on attractiveness have been experimental in nature and focused on perceptions of mental health and achievement rather than actual mental health and achievement. Operating within a status characteristics framework, we analyze the impact of attractiveness on the actual achievement and mental health of individuals in a national sample. We find consistently significant and monotonic relationships of attractiveness with four measures of achievement and eight measures of psychological well-being. Based on these analyses, we conclude that survey research findings corroborate experimental findings on attractiveness; that one's attractiveness does impinge on achievement and psychological well-being; and that status characteristics theory can be used to explain the effects of attractiveness on well-being and achievement.
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Whereas previous researchers have described at–risk students' deficiencies, in the present study their academic success was investigated. Longitudinal data from 8,100 high school students participating in a national study were used to test a model of at–risk students' school learning. The results indicated that ability, quality of schooling, student motivation, and academic coursework are important predictors of academic achievement. Although the present findings indicate that student motivation may have a stronger impact on at–risk students' achievement than on the achievement of high school students in general, overall school learning influences appear very similar to those found for high school students in general.
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This article examines the effect of students’ physical attractiveness on a variety of judgments made in educational settings. This review discusses the following issues: (a) methodology for studying physical attractiveness in the classroom; (b) teacher judgments, expectations, and impressions of physically attractive students; and (c) the influence of moderator variables such as gender, race, conduct, and physical attractiveness effects. A descriptive and a meta-analytic review of the research indicated that physically attractive students are judged usually more favorably by teachers in a number of dimensions including intelligence, academic potential, grades, and various social skills. The potential influence of moderator variables—such as, student gender, race, and past performance on the physical attractiveness bias—is also examined. Finally, the possible mechanisms responsible for the attractiveness effect and the limitations of this research are discussed.
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Presents findings of a task force established by the American Psychological Association to report on the issues of what is known and unknown about intelligence. Significant conceptualizations of intelligence are reviewed, including the psychometric approach, theories of multiple forms of intelligence, cultural variations, theories of developmental progressions, and biological approaches. The meaning of intelligence test scores, what they predict, and how well they predict intelligence is discussed. Genetic factors and intelligence, focusing on individual differences, conventional IQ tests, and other tests intended to measure cognitive ability, are described. Environmental factors such as social and biological variables are discussed, and sex and ethnic group differences are addressed. Recommendations for future research are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Presents findings of a task force established by the American Psychological Association to report on the issues of what is known and unknown about intelligence. Significant conceptualizations of intelligence are reviewed, including the psychometric approach, theories of multiple forms of intelligence, cultural variations, theories of developmental progressions, and biological approaches. The meaning of intelligence test scores, what they predict, and how well they predict intelligence is discussed. Genetic factors and intelligence, focusing on individual differences, conventional IQ tests, and other tests intended to measure cognitive ability, are described. Environmental factors such as social and biological variables are discussed, and sex and ethnic group differences are addressed. Recommendations for future research are presented.
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Adjusted for many other determinants, beauty affects earnings; but does it lead directly to the differences in productivity that we believe generate earnings differences? We take a large sample of student instructional ratings for a group of university teachers and acquire six independent measures of their beauty, and a number of other descriptors of them and their classes. Instructors who are viewed as better looking receive higher instructional ratings, with the impact of a move from the 10th to the 90th percentile of beauty being substantial. This impact exists within university departments and even within particular courses, and is larger for male than for female instructors. Disentangling whether this outcome represents productivity or discrimination is, as with the issue generally, probably impossible.
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The authors examine the impact of looks on earnings using interviewers' ratings of respondents' physical appearance. Plain people earn less than average-looking people, who earn less than the good-looking. The plainness penalty is 5 to 10 percent, slightly larger than the beauty premium. Effects for men are at least as great as for women. Unattractive women have lower labor-force participation rates and marry men with less human capital. Better-looking people sort into occupations where beauty may be more productive but the impact of individuals' looks is mostly independent of occupation, suggesting the existence of pure employer discrimination. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.
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Corruption in the public sector erodes tax compliance and leads to higher tax evasion. Moreover, corrupt public officials abuse their public power to extort bribes from the private agents. In both types of interaction with the public sector, the private agents are bound to face uncertainty with respect to their disposable incomes. To analyse effects of this uncertainty, a stochastic dynamic growth model with the public sector is examined. It is shown that deterministic excessive red tape and corruption deteriorate the growth potential through income redistribution and public sector inefficiencies. Most importantly, it is demonstrated that the increase in corruption via higher uncertainty exerts adverse effects on capital accumulation, thus leading to lower growth rates.
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We decompose the beauty premium in an experimental labor market where "employers" determine wages of "workers" who perform a maze-solving task. This task requires a true skill which we show to be unaffected by physical attractiveness. We find a sizable beauty premium and can identify three transmission channels: (a) physically attractive workers are more confident and higher confidence increases wages; (b) for a given level of confidence, physically attractive workers are (wrongly) considered more able by employers; (c) controlling for worker confidence, physically attractive workers have oral skills (such as communication and social skills) that raise their wages when they interact with employers. Our methodology can be adopted to study the sources of discriminatory pay differentials in other settings.
Book
This updated volume is an account of the lifelong process of identity development, paying special attention to the years of adolescence and adulthood. The book begins by examining five general theoretical orientations to the question of what constitutes identity, as well as the strengths and limitations of each approach. The volume then describes key biological, psychological, and contextual issues during each phase of adolescence and adulthood. Key Features: (a) Introduces readers to cutting-edge research: This Second Edition includes a thorough updating of key theories, research, and demographic information. New international examples of theory and research are drawn from North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific Basin, and Africa to illustrate key themes of identity. (b) Provides interviews and narrative excerpts: All chapters are richly illustrated with statements from adolescents and adults going about their everyday lives in a variety of settings. In addition, each chapter concludes with a summary of key issues and answers to questions that introduce each chapter. (c) Offers a contemporary critical analysis: The volume concludes with an epilogue offering a critical analysis of current identity research and directions for future investigations within an Eriksonian framework. Intended Audience: This is a core textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in Identity Development, as well as a supplementary text for a variety of human development courses such as Adolescent Development, Social & Personality Development, and Advanced Human Growth & Development.
Article
Ratings of the physical attractiveness of 1,006 11- to 12-year-old children were obtained, and the association between physical attractiveness and teachers' judgments of these children on a number of measures was examined. There appeared to be reasonable agreement between teachers' ratings of children's physical attractiveness, judges' ratings, interviewer's ratings, and children's self-ratings of attractiveness. Teachers' ratings of attractiveness were significantly correlated with their judgments of children's sociability, popularity, academic brightness, confidence, and qualities of leadership. Teachers revealed a systematic tendency to rate girls higher than boys, and significant sex differences were observed in teachers' ratings of attractiveness, academic brightness, sociability, and confidence.
Article
Meta-analysis was used to test hypotheses about the relationship between physical attractiveness and intellectual competence. In support of status generalization theory and implicit personality theory, attractive people were perceived as more competent than less attractive people. Attractiveness effects were stronger for males than for females, and stronger when explicit information about competence was absent than when it was present, in keeping with status generalization theory. In partial support of status generalization theory and expectancy theory, attractiveness was related to actual competence in children, but not in adults. Direct measures of competence were influenced strongly more by attractiveness than were indirect measures, as predicted by status generalization theory. Implications for theory, organizational policy, and future research are discussed.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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illustrated a framework that centers on the links between health risks and normative and nonnormative developmental transitions during adolescence / provide a summary of the developmental transitions of adolescence and briefly discuss some of their health promotion implications / basic issues concerning adolescent health promotion programs are presented, followed by a discussion of health promotion in schools and the broader community (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This is a descriptive chapter reporting data on gender differences and similarities in academic achievement. The purpose of this chapter is to look at the achievement picture more broadly by examining data on a number of relevant characteristics and attributes. These range from other ways of gauging academic accomplishment (academic honors, courses taken, and grades in school) other than test scores to differences in attitudes, interests and activities in and out of school. The authors have used data from large, nationally representative samples where possible. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
It is commonly believed that attractive people are more successful, but the empirical support for this belief is mixed. A number of role-playing, laboratory studies have demonstrated that more attractive men are more often hired, but the laboratory data for women are less consistent. Few studies have explored the effects of attractiveness on actual hiring and starting salaries for men or women. Even less work has been done on the impact of attractiveness once on the job. It was predicted that there would be positive effects for attractiveness and that the effects would be stronger as people worked longer on their jobs. To test this prediction, a sample of 737 male and female MBA graduates from the years between 1973 and 1982 was used to explore how facial attractiveness relates to starting and later salaries. Results indicated that more attractive men had higher starting salaries and they continued to earn more over time. For women, there was no effect of attractiveness for starting salaries, but more attractive women earned more later on in their jobs. By 1983, men were found to earn $2600 more on the average for each unit of attractiveness (on a 5-point scale) and women earned $2150 more. Implications for research in this area are discussed.
Article
Women's advocacy groups have waged an intense media campaign to promote the idea that the "schools shortchange girls. " Their goal is to intensify the image of women as "victims" deserving special treatment and policy attention. Their sophisticated public relations campaign has succeeded. The idea that girls are victimized by the schools has become the common wisdom, what educated people just assume to be true. But the idea that the "schools shortchange girls" is wrong and dangerously wrong. It is girls who get higher grades in school, who do better than boys on standardized tests of reading and writing, and who get higher class rank and more school honors. It is young women who enter and graduate from college far more frequently than young men. It is women who have made dramatic progress in obtaining professional, business, and doctoral degrees. The great gender gap of the 1960s in advanced degrees has almost closed, especially in the professional fields to which ambitious women aspire. In the view of elementary and high school students, the young people who sit in the classroom year after year and observe what is going on, both boys and girls agree: Schools favor girls. Teacher think girls are smarter, like being around them more, and hold higher expectations for them.
Article
General intelligence, Big Five personality constructs, and a measure of work drive were studied in relation to course grade in an undergraduate psychology course taught by the same professor for 175 students over a 5-year period. Using a hierarchical multiple regression analysis, general intelligence accounted significantly for 16% of the variance in course grade; Big Five personality measures accounted significantly for an additional 7% of the variance; and work drive accounted significantly for an additional 4% of the variance. However, when work drive was entered before the Big Five variables, the Big Five variables did not add significantly (either as a set or individually) to the prediction of course grade. Results were discussed in terms of the importance of personality constructs in uniquely predicting academic performance and the need for additional study using more diverse predictors and aggregated criterion measures.
Article
Combining labor-market information, appraisals of respondents' beauty, and household expenditures allows us to examine within a unified framework the relative magnitudes of investment and consumption components in one activity, women's spending on beauty-enhancing goods and services. We find that beauty raises women's earnings adjusted for a wide range of controls. Additional spending on clothing and cosmetics has a generally positive marginal impact on a woman's perceived beauty. The relative sizes of these effects demonstrate that such purchases pay back no more than 15% of additional unit of expenditure in the form of higher earnings. Most such spending seems to represent consumption.
Article
Nearly 60 percent of college students today are women. Using longitudinal data on a nationally representative cohort of eighth grade students in 1988, I examine two potential explanations for the differential attendance rates of men and women—returns to schooling and non-cognitive skills. The attendance gap is roughly five percentage points for all high school graduates. Conditional on attendance, however, there are few differences in type of college, enrollment status or selectivity of institution. The majority of the attendance gap can be explained by differences in the characteristics of men and women, despite some gender differences in the determinants of college attendance. I find that higher non-cognitive skills and college premiums among women account for nearly 90 percent of the gender gap in higher education. Interestingly, non-cognitive factors continue to influence college enrollment after controlling for high school achievement.
Article
I estimate the effects of changing an ascriptive characteristic—beauty—on a market outcome. Taking advantage of candidates' multiple appearances in elections to office in a professional association and of the presence of different photographs accompanying the ballots that voters received, I show that exogenous increases in beauty raise a candidate's chance of success. The results support the inference that differential outcomes are inherent in agents' responses to an ascriptive characteristic and do not stem from correlations with unobserved differences in productivity-enhancing characteristics.
Article
The authors propose models with an ascriptive characteristic generating earnings differentials and causing sectoral sorting, allowing them to distinguish among sources producing such differentials. They use longitudinal data on a large sample of graduates from one law school and measure beauty by rating matriculation photographs. Better-looking attorneys who graduated in the 1970s earned more than others after five years of practice, an effect that grew with experience. Attorneys in the private sector are better-looking than those in the public sector, differences that rise with age. These results support theories of dynamic sorting and customer behavior. Copyright 1998 by University of Chicago Press.
Article
Given that instructional student ratings measure differences in pedagogical productivity, this study examines whether perceived attractiveness of German university teachers impact on these differences. Apart from some refinements and adjustments to idiosyncracies of the German system of higher learning, the quantitative analysis widely follows the strategy of the seminal work by Hamermesh and Parker (2005), based on US data. In comparison to findings for the USA, perceived attractiveness of teachers is found to have, if at all, only a weakly significant and quantitatively less important impact on the evaluation outcomes.
Article
The literature contains numerous studies on earnings differentials based on age, race, and gender. Comparatively few studies have examined differences in labour market success related to physical appearance. Using three waves of data collected at two organizations, this paper tested for earnings differentials among workers based on their self-reported appearance. Significant earnings premiums for attractiveness were found for women, but not for men. Copyright 2002 by Taylor and Francis Group
Article
Reflected self-appraisal suggests that individual functioning is related to the fit between individual characteristics and the norms of their primary contexts. To apply this social psychological concept to the study of obesity, we hypothesized that adolescents at risk of obesity would have lower academic achievement overall than other students, especially in schools in which their weight status was most likely to elicit negative evaluations. Multi-level modeling of nationally representative data revealed that the negative longitudinal association between risk of obesity and achievement was stronger in schools with higher rates of romantic activity and lower average body size among students, two school contexts in which obesity was likely to be stigmatized, but weaker in schools with higher rates of athletic participation, a school context in which such stigmatization was also likely. Additional analyses suggested that this last, unexpected finding reflected a process of niche-picking.
Article
This chapter examines the role of income and family background in models of capability formation that explains a variety of findings established in the child development and child intervention literatures.
Article
Considerable controversy surrounds the impact of schools and teachers on the achievement of students. This paper disentangles the separate factors influencing achievement with special attention given to the role of teacher differences and other aspects of schools. Unique matched panel data from the Harvard/UTD Texas Schools Project permit distinguishing between total effects and the impact of specific, measured components of teachers and schools. While schools are seen to have powerful effects on achievement differences, these effects appear to derive most importantly from variations in teacher quality. A lower bound suggests that variations in teacher quality account for at least 7« percent of the total variation in student achievement, and there are reasons to believe that the true percentage is considerably larger. The subsequent analysis estimates educational production functions based on models of achievement growth with individual fixed effects. It identifies a few systematic factors a negative impact of initial years of teaching and a positive effect of smaller class sizes for low income children in earlier grades but these effects are very small relative to the effects of overall teacher quality differences.
Article
Using data from three waves of Add Health we find that being very attractive reduces a young adult's (ages 18-26) propensity for criminal activity and being unattractive increases it for a number of crimes, ranging from burglary to selling drugs. A variety of tests demonstrate that this result is not because beauty is acting as a proxy for socio-economic status. Being very attractive is also positively associated adult vocabulary test scores, which suggests the possibility that beauty may have an impact on human capital formation. We demonstrate that, especially for females, holding constant current beauty, high school beauty (pre-labor market beauty) has a separate impact on crime, and that high school beauty is correlated with variables that gauge various aspects of high school experience, such as GPA, suspension or having being expelled from school, and problems with teachers. These results suggest two handicaps faced by unattractive individuals. First, a labor market penalty provides a direct incentive for unattractive individuals toward criminal activity. Second, the level of beauty in high school has an effect on criminal propensity 7-8 years later, which seems to be due to the impact of the level of beauty in high school on human capital formation, although this second avenue seems to be effective for females only.
Article
The influence of physical appearance in the labour market is examined using longitudinal cohort data covering 11,407 individual born in Britain in 1958. Results show that physical appearance has a substantial effect on earnings and employment patterns for both men and women. Irrespective of gender, those who are assessed as unattractive or short, experience a significant earnings penalty. Tall men receive a pay premium while obese women experience a pay penalty. The bulk of the pay differential for appearance arises from employer discrimination, although we find evidence for productivity differences among occupations. The impact of physical appearance is also evident in the marriage market. Among women, those who are tall or obese are less likely to be married; while among men, lower marriage rates are found for those who are short or unattractive. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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This paper disentangles the impact of schools and teachers in influencing achievement with special attention given to the potential problems of omitted or mismeasured variables and of student and school selection. Unique matched panel data from the UTD Texas Schools Project permit the identification of teacher quality based on student performance along with the impact of specific, measured components of teachers and schools. Semiparametric lower bound estimates of the variance in teacher quality based entirely on within-school heterogeneity indicate that teachers have powerful effects on reading and mathematics achievement, though little of the variation in teacher quality is explained by observable characteristics such as education or experience. The results suggest that the effects of a costly ten student reduction in class size are smaller than the benefit of moving one standard deviation up the teacher quality distribution, highlighting the importance of teacher effectiveness in the determination of school quality. Copyright The Econometric Society 2005.
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This study investigated factors which influence the importance one attributes to overall appearance and the choice of type of hair-grooming establishment. Data were collected from a sample of 245 respondents residing in a southwestern metropolitan area. Analyses reveal that respondents employed in professional/managerial, clerical/secretarial, sales, services, and military occupations, ones in which appearance could influence job performance, identified maintaining an overall good appearance as very important significantly more often than respondents employed in other occupations. Employment in appearance-important occupations significantly influences the choice of hair-grooming establishment. Demographic variables have greater explanatory power than economic variables (appearance-important occupations and income) and establishment attribute variables (image, service experience, and convenience).
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This paper discusses the bias that results from using nonrandomly selected samples to estimate behavioral relationships as an ordinary specification error or "omitted variables" bias. A simple consistent two stage estimator is considered that enables analysts to utilize simple regression methods to estimate behavioral functions by least squares methods. The asymptotic distribution of the estimator is derived.
Changing looks and changing ‘discrimination’: the beauty of economists
  • Hamermesh
Hamermesh, D.S., 2006. Changing looks and changing 'discrimination': the beauty of economists. Economics Letters 93 (3), 405-412.