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Title:"Beauty is the promise of happiness"? PDF Logo
Authors:Hamermesh, Daniel S.
Abrevaya, Jason
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 5600
Abstract:We measure the impact of individuals' looks on their life satisfaction or happiness. Using five data sets from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Germany, we construct beauty measures in different ways that allow putting a lower bound on the true effects of beauty on happiness. Personal beauty raises happiness, with a one standard-deviation change in beauty generating about 0.10 standard deviations of additional satisfaction/happiness among men, 0.12 among women. Accounting for a wide variety of covariates, including those that might be affected by differences in beauty, and particularly effects in the labor and marriage markets, the impact among men is more than halved, among women slightly less than halved. The majority of the effect of beauty on happiness may work through its effects on economic outcomes.
Subjects:life satisfaction
measurement error
looks
JEL:I30
J10
C20
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201104134243
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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