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The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it

  • Berggren, Niclas

    ()

    (The Ratio Institute)

  • Jordahl, Henrik

    ()

    (Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    ()

    (University of Munich and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Previous research has established that good looking political candidates win more votes. We extend this line of research by examining differences between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Our study combines data on personal votes in real elections with a web survey in which 2,513 non-Finnish respondents evaluated the facial appearance of 1,357 Finnish political candidates. We find that political candidates on the right are better looking in both municipal and parliamentary elections and also have a larger beauty premium in municipal, but not in parliamentary, elections. We discuss possible explanations for these patterns, based on the fact that municipal candidates are relatively unknown.

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Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 161.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 17 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0161
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08-441 59 00
Fax: 08-441 59 29
Web page: http://www.ratio.se/
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  1. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Beauty, Gender and Stereotypes: Evidence from Laboratory Experiments," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-22, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2010. "Why Do You Vote and Vote as You Do?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 495-516, November.
  3. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Stern, Charlotta, 2007. "The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists," Ratio Working Papers 112, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Daniel J. Benjamin & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Thin-Slice Forecasts of Gubernatorial Elections," NBER Working Papers 12660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Beautiful Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 616, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  6. Poutvaara, Panu & Jordahl, Henrik & Berggren, Niclas, 2009. "Faces of politicians: Babyfacedness predicts inferred competence but not electoral success," Munich Reprints in Economics 19800, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Munich Reprints in Economics 20267, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  10. Solnick, Sara J. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 1999. "The Influence of Physical Attractiveness and Gender on Ultimatum Game Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 199-215, September.
  11. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  12. Atkinson, Matthew D. & Enos, Ryan D. & Hill, Seth J., 2009. "Candidate Faces and Election Outcomes: Is the Face–Vote Correlation Caused by Candidate Selection?," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(3), pages 229-249, October.
  13. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Xin Meng & Junsen Zhang, 1999. "Dress for Success -- Does Primping Pay?," NBER Working Papers 7167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Dreber Almenberg, Anna & Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "Beauty Queens and Battling Knights: Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess," IZA Discussion Papers 5314, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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