Reasons to Not Be Ugly

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Miss Yonkers 1924 LoC

(photo: Library of Congress)

Season 5, Episode 28

This week, Freakonomics Radio takes a look at the “beauty premium” and, conversely, the downside of ugly. Do cuter babies get more attention? Are good-looking students graded more charitably? How do ugly people fare in the marriage and labor markets?

Then: it isn’t easy to separate the guilty from the innocent — but a clever bit of game theory can help. The goal, as Steve Levitt puts it, is “to get the bad guys to come forward and tell you who they are.” It’s a trick that Levitt and Stephen Dubner, in their book Think Like a Freak, call “teaching your garden to weed itself.”

To learn more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Reasons to Not Be Ugly” and “What Do King Solomon and David Lee Roth Have in Common?

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