Steven E. Landsburg writes,
“I know what wages beauty gives,” said the poet William Butler Yeats about a century ago. Modern econometricians know more precisely. In their published research, Professors Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle estimate that if you’re perceived as beautiful, you probably earn about 5 percent more than your ordinary-looking counterparts.
As beauty is rewarded, so ugliness is penalized. Ugly women earn about 5 percent less than other women, and ugly men earn about 10 percent less than other men. That’s right; the market punishes men more than women for being unattractive. Moreover, men’s looks haunt them at every stage of their careers: Better-looking men get more job offers, higher starting salaries, and better raises. For women, good looks will get you better raises but usually not better job offers or starting salaries.
A separate study found an even larger disparity:
Good-looking men and women have a greater confidence that gives them an edge in the job market, a study from the University of Florida showed.
“We’ve found that, even accounting for intelligence, a person’s feeling of self-worth is enhanced by how attractive they are and this, in turn, results in higher pay,” Timothy Judge, the study’s lead author, told ScienceDaily in a story published Saturday.
Judge and his team compared data from the Harvard Study of Health and Life Quality on 191 men and women between the ages of 25 and 75. The 191 were questioned about their education and finances, and had their pictures taken and rated for attractiveness by the Harvard researchers.
Judge’s team found people rated good-looking made more money, were better educated and felt more confident, The Daily Telegraph reported.