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The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success

Author

Listed:
  • Berggren, Niclas

    () (The Ratio Institute)

  • Jordahl, Henrik

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    () (University of Helsinki)

Abstract

We study the role of beauty in politics. For the first time, focus is put on differences in how women and men evaluate female and male candidates and how different candidate traits relate to success in real and hypothetical elections. We have collected 16,218 assessments by 2,772 respondents of photos of 1,929 Finnish political candidates. Evaluations of beauty explain success in real elections better than evaluations of competence, intelligence, likability, or trustworthiness. The beauty premium is larger for female candidates, in contrast to findings in previous labor-market studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty, Gender and Electoral Success," Working Paper Series 671, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2009. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 523-536, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Beautiful Politicians," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 579-593, November.
    2. Leigh, Andrew & Susilo, Tirta, 2009. "Is voting skin-deep? Estimating the effect of candidate ballot photographs on election outcomes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 61-70, February.
    3. Armstrong, J. Scott & Green, Kesten C. & Jones, Randall J. & Wright, Malcolm, 2008. "Predicting elections from politicians’ faces," MPRA Paper 9150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Michael Funk & Reiner Eichenberger, 2007. ""It's the Challenger, Stupid!": Elections and the Theory of Rank-Order Tournaments," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Lionel Page & Paul Antoine-Chevalier, 2016. "Zoon politikon or homo oeconomicus ? How do people vote?," QuBE Working Papers 037, QUT Business School.
    6. Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2013. "Which qualifications does a minister of the German Federal Government need to be reoccupied?," CIW Discussion Papers 2/2013, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    7. Tom Coupe & Olivier Gergaud & Abdul Noury, 2016. "Biases in Voting - The Case of the FIFA Best Player Award," Discussion Papers 57, Kyiv School of Economics.
    8. Kiefer, Stephanie & Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2012. "The impact of physical attractiveness on the popularity of female tennis players in online media," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 6/2012, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    9. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2009. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 523-536, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty; Gender; Elections; Political candidates; Beauty premium;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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