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Judging a book by its Cover: The influence of physical attractiveness on the promotion of regional leaders

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  • Ling, Leng
  • Luo, Danglun
  • SHE, Guoman

Abstract

We investigate the determinants of the promotion of Chinese municipal leaders and find that leaders with greater perceived attractiveness have a higher probability of promotion. Further exploration shows no correlation between a leader's facial traits and local economic growth under his jurisdiction. Essentially, a senior government official's look significantly affects his chance of promotion but says very little about his ability to advance the local economy. Our findings suggest that appearance-based discrimination exists when Chinese political hierarchy screens political elites.

Suggested Citation

  • Ling, Leng & Luo, Danglun & SHE, Guoman, 2019. "Judging a book by its Cover: The influence of physical attractiveness on the promotion of regional leaders," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.01.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discrimination; Political turnover; Economic performance;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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