Hamermesh on The Daily Show: Ugly People

Freakonomics contributor Dan Hamermesh was featured on The Daily Show last night, in a piece about ugly people. Hamermesh has done extensive research on the economic disadvantages of being unattractive. His most recent book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, shows how all kinds of economic benefits flow toward physical beauty — from higher salaries, to better loan rates, to attractive, educated spouses. We did a Q&A with him here.

In this segment, Hamermesh and Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones have some fun discussing whether ugly Americans should be given special legal protection.

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Ugly People
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  1. Joe says:

    Hamermesh was hilarious (and a good sport), although he should be corrected on one bit of nomenclature. It’s “douchebaggery,” not “douchebagness.”

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  2. David Clayton says:

    Bravo, professor. Not everybody can take a joke. It would have been nice for them to throw in some sort of qualifier, that this is simply an interesting question rather than your life’s obsession or something.

    In case word filters back to New York, the three-fifths line had me actually laughing out loud.

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  3. Jasper says:

    I hope the Ham was kidding about social support for ugly people… Stupidity cannot be helped either, maybe we should force companies not to discriminate based on intelligence.

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    • Zakafury says:

      There are, in fact, many social supports for those at such low percentiles of intellect as the Professor suggests need some legal protection for ugliness.

      We’re not talking 1 on the 1-5 scale, we’re talking maybe the bottom 0.3 out of 5.

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  4. Dre says:

    On the same note this kind of thinking actually applies in the NFL as well. So even being a super talented athlete at the high end of the pay scale, it still is better to be a super talented attractive athlete.

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  5. Colin says:

    It was one of the best pieces I’ve seen on The Daily Show in a while. He was fantastic!

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  6. Terry says:

    how about offering free plastic surgery, dental work, and the like?

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  7. robin marlowe says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Tim says:

      You’re right. If we don’t talk about a phenomenon, that means it isn’t real. /s

      Facts aren’t offensive. He’s not stating or researching how looks should effect one’s life, he’s analyzing how it DOES. Not talking about it doesn’t change reality.

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  8. marlowe here says:

    yes, yes. I know of my own sensitivity when it comes to certain things. There’s the rub.

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