Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

"Beauty Is the Promise of Happiness"?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin, Royal Holloway)

  • Abrevaya, Jason

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

We measure the impact of individuals' looks on their life satisfaction or happiness. Using five data sets from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Germany, we construct beauty measures in different ways that allow putting a lower bound on the true effects of beauty on happiness. Personal beauty raises happiness, with a one standard-deviation change in beauty generating about 0.10 standard deviations of additional satisfaction/happiness among men, 0.12 among women. Accounting for a wide variety of covariates, including those that might be affected by differences in beauty, and particularly effects in the labor and marriage markets, the impact among men is more than halved, among women slightly less than halved. The majority of the effect of beauty on happiness may work through its effects on economic outcomes.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5600.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5600.

as in new window
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2013, 64, 351-368
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5600

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: life satisfaction; measurement error; looks;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Hypertension and Happiness across Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 2633, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  3. Darren Lubotsky & Martin Wittenberg, 2001. "Interpretation of Regressions with Multiple Proxies," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 836, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  5. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2009. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 523-536, August.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Diener, Ed & Georgellis, Yannis & Lucas, Richard E., 2008. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb), CEPREMAP 0803, CEPREMAP.
  8. Joop Hartog & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1997. "Health, Wealth and Happiness: Why pursue a Higher Education?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-034/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Mary C. Daly & Daniel J. Wilson, 2008. "Happiness, unhappiness, and suicide: an empirical assessment," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 2008-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Mocan, Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Ugly Criminals," IZA Discussion Papers 2048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1995. "Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," NBER Working Papers 5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Easterlin, Richard A., 2010. "Happiness, Growth, and the Life Cycle," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199597093 edited by Hinte, Holger & Zimmermann, Klaus F., October.
  13. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
  14. Gautier, Pieter & Svarer, Michael & Teulings, Coen, 2005. "Marriage and the City," IZA Discussion Papers 1491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Andrew Leigh & Tirta Susilo, 2008. "Is Voting Skin-Deep? Estimating the Effect of Candidate Ballot Photographs on Election Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 583, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  16. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2009. "Well-being across America," IZA Discussion Papers 4600, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Horta�su & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-63, March.
  18. Harper, Barry, 2000. " Beauty, Stature and the Labour Market: A British Cohort Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(0), pages 771-800, Special I.
  19. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  20. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers, CIRANO 94s-23, CIRANO.
  21. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
  22. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Gevel, A.J.W. van de & Noussair, C.N., 2012. "The Nexus between Artificial Intelligence and Economics," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 2012-087, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Resul Cesur & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," NBER Working Papers 19769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Daiji Kawaguchi & Jungmin Lee, 2014. "Does Labor Legislation Benefit Workers? Well-Being after an Hours Reduction," NBER Working Papers 20398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mansour, Hani & McKinnish, Terra, 2012. "Who Marries Differently-Aged Spouses? Earnings, Ability and Appearance," IZA Discussion Papers 6678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.