Returns to Beauty
By Eric Crampton
Giam Petro Cipriano and Angelo Zago find that more attractive students in economics earn higher test scores than their less attractive counterparts, an effect that’s magnified rather than attenuated in written exams when compared to oral exams. While a causal mechanism isn’t specified in the paper, most accounts seem desperate to chalk it up to discrimination favouring the attractive in the period prior to testing: profs lavish more attention on attractive students, attractive people have more self confidence, and so on. Mightn’t the simplest explanation be that smart people earn more money and attract more attractive spouses?