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

Author

Listed:
  • Berggren, Niclas

    (The Ratio Institute)

  • Jordahl, Henrik

    (Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    (University of Munich and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it," Ratio Working Papers 161, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Looks in politics
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-01-06 20:33:18

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carmelo Licata & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2016. "Partisan stereotypes," Working Papers CEB 16-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Potrafke, Niklas & Rösch, Marcus & Ursprung, Heinrich, 2020. "Election systems, the “beauty premium” in politics, and the beauty of dissent," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    3. 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).
    4. Shastitko, A., 2011. "Errors of I and II Types in Economic Exchanges with Third Party Enforcement," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 10, pages 125-148.
    5. Mechtel, Mario, 2014. "It's the occupation, stupid! Explaining candidates' success in low-information elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 53-70.
    6. Ronny Freier & Sebastian Thomasius, 2016. "Voters prefer more qualified mayors, but does it matter for public finances? Evidence for Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 875-910, October.
    7. Jan Fidrmuc & Boontarika Paphawasit & Çiğdem Börke Tunalı, 2017. "Nobel Beauty," Working Paper series 17-27, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    8. Mechtel, Mario, 2011. "It's the occupation, stupid! Explaining candidates' success in low-information local elections," VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48682, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty; Elections; Political candidates; Appearance; Ideology; Parties;
    All these keywords.

    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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