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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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  1. 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.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang, 1999. "Dress for Success — Does Primping Pay?," NBER Working Papers 7167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Masanori Hashimoto & Ben T. Yu, 1980. "Specific Capital, Employmemt Contracts, and Wage Rigidity," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 536-549, Autumn.
  5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
  8. Welch, F, 1970. "Education in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-59, Jan.-Feb..
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Victor Ginsburgh & Olivier Gergaud & F. Livat, . "Succes :Talent, Intelligence or Beauty?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/151568, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Christian Pfeifer, 2012. "Physical attractiveness, employment and earnings," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(6), pages 505-510, April.
  4. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success," Ratio Working Papers 104, The Ratio Institute.
  5. Seung Chan Ahn & Young Hoon Lee, 2011. "Beauty and Productivity:The Case of the Ladies Professional Golf Association," Working Papers 1119, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University, revised 2011.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. GERGAUD, Olivier & GINSBURGH, Victor & LIVAT, Florine, . "Success of celebrities: talent, intelligence or beauty?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2498, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2006. "Changing looks and changing "discrimination": The beauty of economists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 405-412, December.
  10. Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz, 2012. "Physical Attractiveness Or Referrals: Which Matters The Most?," MPRA Paper 39105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Giam Pietro Cipriani & Angelo Zago, 2005. "Productivity or Discrimination? Beauty and the Exams," Working Papers 18, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  12. E. Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser & M. Walzl, 2008. "Unfair contests," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 267-291, 04.

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