Male political candidates who are handsome have a greater chance of winning an election, compared with their less good-looking competitors, reports Reuters of research from the University of Texas. (Yes, someone was paid money to do this study.)
Those who were handsome had a 56 percent chance of winning on election day, compared with the 44 percent chance the less attractive candidates had.
Led by economics professor Daniel Hamermesh, the study focused on the election of officers for the American Economic Association over an eight-year period. Four outside observers rated the attractiveness of 312 photographs used by 216 candidates on the ballots.
"It was very clear that being good-looking helped and also helped more for men than for women, and that seems to be something one finds in looking at the effect of beauty in other outcomes such as earnings and wages," Hamermesh told Reuters.
Why? Hamermesh says there is no clear answer.
This is his sixth study on the impact of good looks, with others examining the classroom, the business arena and the legal profession.
In all, he found that attractive people also have an edge in the professional world. In college classrooms, Hamermesh concluded that good-looking professors get better ratings from their students, a factor that can impact their salary.
In addition, better-looking attorneys earned more money after five years of practice than ugly lawyers, and that effect grew even larger by the 15th year of practice.
The study findings were published on the National Bureau of Economics Research Web site.
--From the Editors at Netscape