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Business Success and Businesses' Beauty Capital

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  • Ciska M. Bosman
  • Gerard Pfann
  • Jeff E. Biddle
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

We examine whether a difference in pay for beauty is supported by different productivity of people according to looks. Using a sample of advertising firms, we find that those firms with better-looking executives have higher revenues and faster growth than do otherwise identical firms whose executives are not so good-looking. The impact on revenue far exceeds the likely effect of beauty on the executives' wages. This suggests that their beauty creates firm-specific investments, in the form of improved relationships within work groups, the returns to which are shared by the firm and the executive.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6083.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Publication status: published as "Business success and businesses' beauty capital" Economics Letters, Vol 93, 3 (December 2006) Pages 201-207 Gerard A. Pfann, Jeff E. Biddle, Daniel S. Hamermesh and Ciska M. Bosman
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6083

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References

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  1. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Meng, Xin & Zhang, Junsen, 2002. "Dress for success--does primping pay?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 361-373, July.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
  4. Audretsch, David B & Mahmood, Talat, 1995. "New Firm Survival: New Results Using a Hazard Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 97-103, February.
  5. Welch, F, 1970. "Education in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-59, Jan.-Feb..
  6. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," NBER Working Papers 5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bruce Johnson, W. & Magee, Robert P. & Nagarajan, Nandu J. & Newman, Harry A., 1985. "An analysis of the stock price reaction to sudden executive deaths : Implications for the managerial labor market," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 151-174, April.
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Cited by:
  1. French, Michael T. & Robins, Philip K. & Homer, Jenny F. & Tapsell, Lauren M., 2009. "Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 373-382, August.
  2. Giam Pietro Cipriani & Angelo Zago, 2005. "Productivity or Discrimination? Beauty and the Exams," Working Papers 18, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  3. Seung Chan Ahn & Young Hoon Lee, 2014. "Beauty And Productivity: The Case Of The Ladies Professional Golf Association," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 155-168, 01.
  4. Olivier Gergaud & Victor Ginsburgh & Florine Livat, 2012. "Success of Celebrities: Talent, Intelligence or Beauty?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3120-3127.
  5. E. Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser & M. Walzl, 2008. "Unfair contests," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 267-291, 04.
  6. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success," Ratio Working Papers 104, The Ratio Institute.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2005. "Changing Looks and Changing "Discrimination:" The Beauty of Economists," NBER Working Papers 11712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. GERGAUD, Olivier & GINSBURGH, Victor, 2010. "Success: talent, intelligence or beauty ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2010072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Pfeifer, Christian, 2011. "Physical Attractiveness, Employment, and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 5664, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz, 2012. "Physical Attractiveness Or Referrals: Which Matters The Most?," MPRA Paper 39105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Godoy, Ricardo & Reyes-Garcia, Victoria & Huanca, Tomas & Tanner, Susan & Leonard, William R. & McDade, Thomas & Vadez, Vincent, 2005. "Do smiles have a face value? Panel evidence from Amazonian Indians," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 469-490, August.
  12. Franklin G. Mixon & Steven B. Caudill, 2013. "Campus competition and co-ed allure: An institution-level analysis of collegiate dating markets," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 442-453.

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