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Attractive Physical Appearance vs. Good Academic Characteristics: Which Generates More Earnings?


  • Hung-Lin Tao


This study uses the entry-level wage of Taiwanese female college graduates to ensure a clear causality between the wage and physical appearance. It is found that height raises the entry wage, and that there exists an optimal BMI. Graduates who are satisfied with their looks earn 3.4% more than the average. The wage premiums for a good college grade and for all advantageous physical characteristics are significantly lower than that for admission to a selective college. Graduates who are satisfied with their looks are more likely to become full-time workers and are less likely to be unemployed shortly after graduation. Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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  • Hung-Lin Tao, 2008. "Attractive Physical Appearance vs. Good Academic Characteristics: Which Generates More Earnings?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 114-133, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:61:y:2008:i:1:p:114-133

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cornes,Richard & Sandler,Todd, 1996. "The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods, and Club Goods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521477185, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. & Panagiotis Lazaridis, 2009. "Can Nutritional Label Use Influence Body Weight Outcomes?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 500-525, November.
    2. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Beautiful Politicians," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 579-593, November.
    3. Caliendo, Marco & Gehrsitz, Markus, 2016. "Obesity and the labor market: A fresh look at the weight penalty," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 209-225.
    4. Csaba, László, 2008. "Módszertan és relevancia a közgazdaságtanban. A mai közgazdaságtan és a társtudományok
      [Methodology and relevancy in economics. Today s economics and associated sciences]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 285-307.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger & René L. Frey, 2009. "Editorial Ruminations: Publishing Kyklos," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 151-160, April.
    6. Tao, Hung-Lin, 2014. "Height, weight, and entry earnings of female graduates in Taiwan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 85-98.
    7. Susan L. Averett & Laura M. Argys & Jennifer L. Kohn, 2013. "Immigrants, wages and obesity: the weight of the evidence," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 13, pages 242-256 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Averett, Susan L. & Argys, Laura M. & Kohn, Jennifer L., 2012. "Immigration, Obesity and Labor Market Outcomes in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 6454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Linn-Brit Bakkenbüll & Stephanie Kiefer, 2015. "Are Attractive Female Tennis Players More Successful? An Empirical Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 443-458, November.

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