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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Teaching Evaluations, Beauty And Abilities

  • Michela Ponzo

    ()

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Using data from an Italian University we relate student evaluations of teaching quality to physical attractiveness of instructors, controlling for a number of teachers’ and courses’ characteristics. We first show that the beauty of teachers strongly affects teaching evaluations. To investigate whether the impact is due to productivity or discrimination, that is, if the better evaluations obtained by good-looking instructors are determined by their possess of greater abilities or by Becker-type customer discrimination, we propose a simple theoretical framework and build a measure of teachers’ abilities that is used as control in the empirical model explaining teaching evaluations. We show that beauty affects teaching evaluations even controlling for ability, suggesting that customer discrimination is the key factor explaining the role of beauty.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP04_2012.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012-03
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201204.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201204
Contact details of provider: Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/

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  1. Maria, De Paola, 2008. "Does Teacher Quality Affect Student Performance? Evidence from an Italian University," MPRA Paper 8841, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2006. "Ugly Criminals," NBER Working Papers 12019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:ver:wpaper:18 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Fletcher, Jason M., 2009. "Beauty vs. brains: Early labor market outcomes of high school graduates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 321-325, December.
  5. William E. Becker & William Bosshardt & Michael Watts, 2012. "How Departments of Economics Evaluate Teaching," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 325-333, July.
  6. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  7. Anindya Sen & Marcel-Cristian Voia & Frances R. Woolley, 2010. "Hot or Not: How Appearance Affects Earnings and Productivity in Academia," Carleton Economic Papers 10-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  8. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
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