IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ehbiol/v22y2016icp24-34.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Beauty, body size and wages: Evidence from a unique data set

Author

Listed:
  • Oreffice, Sonia
  • Quintana-Domeque, Climent

Abstract

We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview in the German General Social Survey is related to weight, height, and body mass index (BMI), separately by gender and accounting for interviewers’ characteristics or fixed effects. We show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, and that anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers when assessing male attractiveness. We also estimate whether, controlling for beauty, body size measures are related to hourly wages. We find that anthropometric attributes play a significant role in wage regressions in addition to attractiveness, showing that body size cannot be dismissed as a simple component of beauty. Our findings are robust to controlling for health status and accounting for selection into working.

Suggested Citation

  • Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2016. "Beauty, body size and wages: Evidence from a unique data set," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 24-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:22:y:2016:i:c:p:24-34
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.01.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X16000046
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
    2. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
    3. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "Ugly Criminals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 15-30, February.
    4. Christian A. Gregory & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2011. "Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 315-347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Abrevaya, Jason, 2013. "Beauty is the promise of happiness?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 351-368.
    7. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Meng, Xin & Zhang, Junsen, 2002. "Dress for success--does primping pay?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 361-373, July.
    8. Brunello, Giorgio & D'Hombres, Beatrice, 2007. "Does body weight affect wages?: Evidence from Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
    9. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
    10. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
    11. Cawley, John H. & Grabka, Markus M. & Lillard, Dean R., 2005. "A Comparison of the Relationship between Obesity and Earnings in the U.S. and Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 119-129.
    12. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 659-695.
    13. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    14. Wada, Roy & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Body composition and wages," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 242-254, July.
    15. Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-163, March.
    16. Markus Gehrsitz, 2014. "Looks and Labor: Do Attractive People Work More?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(3), pages 269-287, September.
    17. Doorley, Karina & Sierminska, Eva, 2015. "Myth or fact? The beauty premium across the wage distribution in Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 29-34.
    18. Tatyana Deryugina & Olga Shurchkov, 2015. "Does Beauty Matter In Undergraduate Education?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 940-961, April.
    19. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    20. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
    21. Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics among couples: Evidence in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 373-384, December.
    22. John Karl Scholz & Kamil Sicinski, 2015. "Facial Attractiveness and Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from a Cohort Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 14-28, March.
    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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:189-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Kugler, Adriana D., 2016. "Intergenerational persistence of health: Do immigrants get healthier as they remain in the U.S. for more generations?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 136-148.
    3. Wilson, Nicholas & Janicki, Martha, 2016. "A cut above the rest? Private anthropometrics in marriage markets," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 164-179.
    4. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:160-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jhecon:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:117-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude, 2017. "War during childhood: The long run effects of warfare on health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 117-130.
    7. Katarzyna Bech & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Estimating gender wage gap in the presence of efficiency wages -- evidence from European data," GRAPE Working Papers 20, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    8. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:38-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Astghik Mavisakalyan, 2016. "Looks matter: Attractiveness and employment in the former soviet union," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1604, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attractiveness; Body mass index; Height; Weight; Wages;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:22:y:2016:i:c:p:24-34. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.