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Beauty Pays

Why Attractive People Are More Successful

Paperback Engels 2013 9780691158174
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Most of us know there is a payoff to looking good, and in the quest for beauty we spend countless hours and billions of dollars on personal grooming, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. But how much better off are the better looking? Based on the evidence, quite a lot. The first book to seriously measure the advantages of beauty, Beauty Pays demonstrates how society favors the beautiful and how better-looking people experience startling but undeniable benefits in all aspects of life. Noted economist Daniel Hamermesh shows that the attractive are more likely to be employed, work more productively and profitably, receive more substantial pay, obtain loan approvals, negotiate loans with better terms, and have more handsome and highly educated spouses. Hamermesh explains why this happens and what it means for the beautiful--and the not-so-beautiful--among us. Exploring whether a universal standard of beauty exists, Hamermesh illustrates how attractive workers make more money, how these amounts differ by gender, and how looks are valued differently based on profession. He considers whether extra pay for good-looking people represents discrimination, and, if so, who is discriminating.
Hamermesh investigates the commodification of beauty in dating and how this influences the search for intelligent or high-earning mates, and even examines whether government programs should aid the ugly. He also discusses whether the economic benefits of beauty will persist into the foreseeable future and what the "looks-challenged" can do to overcome their disadvantage. Reflecting on a sensitive issue that touches everyone, Beauty Pays proves that beauty's rewards are anything but superficial.


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Preface ix PART I: Background to Beauty Chapter I: The Economics of Beauty 3 Chapter II: In the Eye of the Beholder 11 Definitions of Beauty 11 Why Do Beauty Standards Matter? 18 How Do We Measure Human Beauty? 19 Do Observers Agree on Beauty? 24 Does Beauty Differ by Gender, Race, or Age? What Makes You Beautiful? 28 Can We Become More Beautiful? 32 The Stage Is Set 35 Part I I: Beauty on the Job: What and Why Chapter III: Beauty and the Worker 39 The Central Questions 39 How Can Beauty Affect Earnings? 40 How Much More Do Good-Looking People Make? 42 Is Beauty the Real Cause? 51 Why Are Beauty Effects Smaller Among Women? 55 Do Beauty Effects Differ by Race? 58 Do Beauty Effects Differ by Age? 59 Compensating the Beauty-Damaged Worker? 61 Looks Matter for Workers 64 Chapter IV Beauty in Specific Occupations 66 Beauty and Choosing an Occupation 66 How Big Are Beauty Effects Where Beauty Might Matter? 72 How Big Are Beauty Effects Where Beauty Might Not Matter? 79 Sorting by Beauty 84 Chapter V: Beauty and the Employer 86 The Puzzles 86 Do Good-Looking Employees Raise Sales? 87 How Does Beauty Affect Profits? 92 How Can Companies Pay for Beauty and Survive? 97 Do Companies with Better-Looking CEOs Perform Better? 98 Beauty Helps Companies--Probably 100 Chapter VI: Lookism or Productive Beauty, and Why? 102 What the Beauty Effect Means 102 How Can Beauty Effects Be Discrimination? 103 How Can Beauty Be Socially Productive? 108 What Are the Sources of Beauty Effects? 111 What Is the Direct Evidence on the Sources? 114 The Importance of Beauty 121 Part I I I: Beauty in Love, Loans, and Law Chapter VII: Beauty in Markets for Friends, Family, and Funds 125 Beyond the Labor Market 125 How Is Beauty Exchanged? 126 How Does Beauty Affect Group Formation? 128 How Does Beauty Affect Dating? 130 How Does Beauty Affect Marriage? 135 Could There Be a Market for Beautiful Children? 141 Does Beauty Matter When You Borrow? 144 Trading Beauty in Unexpected Places 146 Chapter VIII: Legal Protection for the Ugly 148 Fairness and Public Policy 148 What Kinds of Protection Are Possible? 149 How Have Existing Policies Been Used? 154 Is It Possible to Protect the Ugly? 156 What Justifies Protecting the Ugly? 160 What Justifies Not Protecting the Ugly? 163 What Is an Appropriate Policy? 166 Protecting the Ugly in the Near Future 168 Part I V: The Future of Looks Chapter IX Prospects for the Looks-Challenged 171 The Beauty Conundrum 173 Are Beautiful People Happier? 173 What Will Be Beautiful? What Should Be? 175 What Can Society Do? 177 What Can You Do If You're Bad-Looking? 178 Notes 181 Index 203

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