Friday, June 16, 2006

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Is politics really a beauty contest?

Today I received the following e-mail request from Niclas Berggren:

Several studies document that beauty plays a role in the labor market: beautiful people earn more than others. Three economists are conducting a study to see whether there is a beauty premium in politics as well, such that beautiful candidates have greater electoral success. You, humble readers of daniel, are hereby invited to participate in the study, run by Associate Professor Niclas Berggren (The Ratio Institute), Dr. Henrik Jordahl (Uppsala University) and Professor Panu Poutvaara (University of Helsinki).

Click over to -- and please write DREZNER when asked how and where you heard about the study.

posted by Dan on 06.16.06 at 04:54 PM


Mary, love you as a fellow citizen, but you are a distinct minority: the fact is looks influences our behaviour and tastes -- and especially (I think) when it comes to choosing leaders. They're the ones you want to be taller than the rest when doing photo-ops with the G-8, confidence pouring out of them, and easy on the eyes. We're human after all.

One anecdotal note: I lived in Texas after Gov. Bush got kicked upstairs, and the winner was Rick Perry: amazing airhead but so damn handsome...

posted by: Racer X, Speed Racer's (unbeknownst to him) brother on 06.16.06 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

Malcom Gladwell has a whole chapter on the perceive relationship between good looks and success in politics appropriately titled, "The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall for Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men" in his book Blink.

posted by: Asif Dowla on 06.16.06 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

I thought I heard, from a beautiful lawyer I knew, that beautiful men _and_ women failed to acheive really great success. That, after a certain point, people assume beautiful people are dumb.

That dark haired and dark eyed people are succesful in boardrooms (rather than blonde and blue eyed, traditionally considered va-va-voomable) was the result of another study I thought I heard about.

When was the last time YOU worked out? What kind of leftist are you really if you won't make the effort to get in shape, so people appreciate you for dumb things instead of just real things?

posted by: Josh "Maury" Narins on 06.16.06 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

"that after a certain point"
"that after a certain height on the ladder of success"

posted by: Josh "Maury" Narins on 06.16.06 at 04:54 PM [permalink]

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