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The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Reward It

Author

Listed:
  • Berggren, Niclas
  • Jordahl, Henrik
  • Poutvaara, Panu

Abstract

Since good-looking politicians win more votes, a beauty advantage for politicians on the left or on the right is bound to have political consequences. We show that politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia. Our explanation is that beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution. Accordingly, our model predicts that voters use beauty as a cue for conservatism when they do not know much about candidates and that politicians on the right benefit more from beauty in low-information elections. Evidence from real and experimental elections confirms both predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2015. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Voters Reward It," Discussion Papers in Economics 24882, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:24882
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00499 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Arunachalam Raj & Shah Manisha, 2012. "The Prostitute's Allure: The Return to Beauty in Commercial Sex Work," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, December.
    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. repec:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
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    7. Eiji Yamamura & Ryohei Hayashi & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2018. "Racers f attractive looks, popularity, and performance: How do speedboat racers react to fans f expectations?," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-28, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
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    9. repec:oup:cesifo:v:63:y:2017:i:3:p:317-332. is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem, 2017. "Do Parties Punish MPs for Voting Against the Party Line?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(3), pages 317-332.
    11. repec:ces:ifofor:v:18:y:2017:i:01:p:37-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Tukiainen, Janne & Takalo, Tuomas & Hulkkonen, Topi, 2019. "Relative age effects in political selection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 50-63.
    13. repec:eee:pubeco:v:157:y:2018:i:c:p:95-106 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty; Elections; Political candidates; Appearance; Ideology; Parties;

    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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