Effects Of Physical Attractiveness On P

Topics: High school, Physical attractiveness, Physical Appearance Pages: 10 (8858 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Labour Economics 16 (2009) 373–382

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Labour Economics
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / l a b e c o

Effects of physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming on academic performance in high school
Michael T. French a,⁎, Philip K. Robins b, Jenny F. Homer c, Lauren M. Tapsell d a

University of Miami, Department of Sociology, 5202 University Drive, Merrick Building, Room 121F, P.O. Box 248162, Coral Gables, FL, 33124-2030, USA Department of Economics, University of Miami, Jenkins Building, 5250 University Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146-6550, USA Health Economics Research Group, Sociology Research Center, University of Miami, 5665 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Flipse Building, Room 104, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0719, USA d

Health Economics Research Group, Sociology Research Center, University of Miami, 5665 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Flipse Building, Room 112, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0719, USA b
c

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 13 February 2008
Received in revised form 6 January 2009
Accepted 9 January 2009
Available online 20 January 2009
JEL classification:
I12
I21
J71
Keywords:
Physical attractiveness
Personality
Grooming
Adolescents
High school grades

a b s t r a c t
Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we investigate whether certain aspects of personal appearance (i.e., physical attractiveness, personality, and grooming) affect a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) in high school. When physical attractiveness is entered into the model as the only measure of personal appearance (as has been done in previous studies), it has a positive and statistically significant impact on GPA for female students and a positive yet not statistically significant effect for male students. Including personality and grooming, the effect of physical attractiveness turns negative for both groups, but is only statistically significant for males. For male and female students, being very well groomed is associated with a statistically significant GPA premium. While grooming has the largest effect on GPA for male students, having a very attractive personality is most important for female students. Numerous sensitivity analyses support the core results for grooming and personality. Possible explanations for these findings include teacher discrimination, differences in student objectives, and rational resource allocation decisions.

© 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction and background
In recent years, economists have expanded the study of labor market discrimination to include the effects of physical attractiveness or beauty. The seminal paper by Hamermesh and Biddle (1994) examines the effects of physical attractiveness on earnings and finds a “plainness penalty” of 5–10% and a slightly lower “beauty premium” for both males and females in the workplace. How much (if any) of the estimated earnings effects reflects discrimination, occupational crowding, or productivity differences is uncertain, although Hamermesh and Biddle's analysis suggests that some degree of employer discrimination is present. Since the original study, Hamermesh and his colleagues have investigated similar topics ranging from the impact of lawyers' appearance on their salaries to the likelihood of attractive politicians being elected (Biddle and Hamermesh, 1998; Hamermesh, 2006; Hamermesh et al., 2002; Hamermesh and Parker, 2005; Pfann et al., 2000). Other recent studies include French (2002), who analyzes self-reported appearance data and finds a beauty premium for female, but not male workers, and Mobius and Rosenblat (2006), who investigate the possible causes of a ⁎ Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 305 284 6039; fax: +1 305 284 5310. E-mail addresses: mfrench@miami.edu (M.T. French), probins@miami.edu (P.K. Robins), jhomer@miami.edu (J.F. Homer), ltapsell@miami.edu (L.M. Tapsell)....

References: Anderson, E.S., Keith, T.Z., 1997. A longitudinal test of a model of academic success for atrisk high school students. Journal of Educational Research 90 (5), 259–268.
Biddle, J.E., Hamermesh, D.S., 1998. Beauty, productivity, and discrimination: lawyers '
looks and lucre
Crosnoe, R., Muller, C., 2004. Body mass index, academic achievement, and school
context: examining the educational experiences of adolescents at risk of obesity.
Dwyer, C.A., Johnson, L.M., 1997. Grades, accomplishments, and correlates. In:
Willimgham, W.W., Cole, N.S
Erikson, E., 1968. Identity: Youth and Crisis. Norton, New York.
French, M.T., 2002. Physical appearance and earnings: further evidence. Applied
Economics 34 (5), 569–572.
Frieze, I., Olson, J., Russell, J., 1991. Attractiveness and income for men and women in
management
Hamermesh, D.S., 2006. Changing looks and changing ‘discrimination’: the beauty of
economists
Hamermesh, D.S., Biddle, J.E., 1994. Beauty and the labor market. American Economic
Review 84 (5), 1174–1194.
Hamermesh, D.S., Parker, A., 2005. Beauty in the classroom: instructors ' pulchritude and
putative pedagogical productivity
Hamermesh, D.S., Meng, X., Zhang, J., 2002. Dress for success — does primping pay?
Labour Economics 9 (3), 361–373.
Harper, B., 2000. Beauty, stature, and the labour market: a British cohort study. Oxford
Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 62, 771–800.
Heckman, J.J., 1976. The common structure of statistical models of truncation, sample
selection and limited dependent variables and a simple estimator for such models.
Heckman, J.J., 1979. Sample selection bias as a specification error. Econometrica 47 (1),
153–161.
Heckman, J.J., 2008. Role of income and family influence on child outcomes. Annals of
the New York Academy of Sciences 1136, 307–323.
Jackson, L.A., Hunter, J.E., Hodge, C.N., 1995. Physical attractiveness and intellectual
competence — a meta-analytic review
Jacob, B.A., 2002. Where the boys aren 't: non-cognitive skills, returns to school and the
gender gap in higher education
Kenealy, P., Frude, N., Shaw, W., 1988. Influence of children 's physical attractiveness on
teacher expectations
Kleinfeld, J., 1998. The myth that schools shortchange girls: social science in the service
of deception
Kroger, J., 2006. Identity Development: Adolescence through Adulthood, 2nd ed. Sage
Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California.
Loh, E.S., 1993. The economic effects of physical appearance. Social Science Quarterly 74
(2), 420–438.
Lounsbury, J.W., Sundstrom, E., Loveland, J.M., Gibson, L.W., 2003. Intelligence, “big five”
personality traits, and work drive as predictors of course grade
Individual Differences 35 (6), 1231–1239.
Maggs, J.L., Schulenberg, J., Hurrelmann, K., 1997. Developmental transitions during
adolescence: health promotion implications
Mobius, M.M., Rosenblat, T.S., 2006. Why beauty matters. American Economic Review
96 (1), 222–235.
Mocan, N., Tekin, E., 2006. Ugly criminals. National Bureau of Economic Research
Working Paper, vol
Neisser, U., Boodo, G., Bouchard Jr., T.J., Wade, B.A., Brody, N., Ceci, S.J., Halpern, D.F.,
Loehlin, J.C., Perlo, R., Sternberg, R.J., Urbina, S., 1996
Pfann, G.A., Biddle, J.E., Hamermesh, D.S., Bosman, C.M., 2000. Business success and
businesses beauty capital
Ritts, V., Patterson, M.L., Tubbs, M.E., 1992. Expectations, impressions, and judgments of
physically attractive students — a review
Rivkin, S.G., Hanushek, E.A., Kain, J.F., 2005. Teachers, schools, and academic
achievement
Schwer, R.K., Daneshvary, R., 2000. Keeping up one 's appearance: its importance and the
choice of hair-grooming establishment
Süssmuth, B., 2006. Beauty in the classroom: are German students less blinded?
Putative pedagogical productivity due to professors ' pulchritude: peculiar or
Umberson, D., Hughes, M., 1987. The impact of physical attractiveness on achievement
and psychological well-being
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Effect of Physical Attractiveness on Job Success Essay
  • Physical Attractiveness and Criminal Behavior Essay
  • Attraction: Love and Physical Attractiveness Essay
  • Interpersonal Relationship and Physical Attractiveness Essay
  • The Effects of Hairstyle on Perceived Attractiveness Research Paper
  • The Effect of Interpersonal Sensitivity on Attractiveness Essay
  • Outline of a Speech on the Theory of Physical Attractiveness Essay
  • Effects of Physical Development on Adolescents Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free