From Beauty Pays: Why it's Better to be a Beautiful Woman and Worse to be an Ugly Man

This week, we're soliciting your questions for Dan Hamermesh about his new book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. To stir up some ideas and discussion, here are a couple tables from the book illustrating how perceived beauty breaks down along gender, and also the income premium attractive people enjoy over their average-looking counterparts.

Beauty Pays is Out! Bring Your Questions for Dan Hamermesh

Beauty Pays is out!! (Princeton University Press, 2011, available from the Press, or either hardbound or Kindle version). Its central point is that beauty affects outcomes in markets because it is scarce. It details how these effects function, how large they are, and what they imply about a wide array of markets.

It includes relevant jokes, songs, etc., lots of pictures but no graphs. Despite a “chatty” tone the discussion of beauty illustrates ideas comprising almost half of an introductory micro course.

It raises a wide array of issues and questions. I'm happy to answer any questions that Freakonomics readers might have, so please ask away in the comments section below!

Here's the table of contents:

Getting Arrested is Not Pretty

A new paper stipulates that robbers are unusually ugly. That finding makes sense—ugliness might intimidate victims and make the crime easier to commit. So too perhaps for police ugliness intimidating crooks.

Does Beauty Equal Happiness?

Are good-looking people happier than their unattractive counterparts? A new study says... they are indeed. But the reason why is different for men than it is for women.

Confirmed: Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

New research from OkCupid, the research-focused dating site, finds that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. OkTrends assessed male perceptions of female attractiveness and found that "when some men think you're ugly, other men are more likely to message you. And when some men think you're cute, other men become less interested."

The Campus Beauty Tax

Besieged on campus by amorous female students, University of Alabama economics professor Gary A. Hoover relocated to a home 45 miles away.

Blondes Have More…

Money and success, according to researchers.

The Economics of an Ugly Boyfriend

Naked self-promotion: the third edition of my book, Economics Is Everywhere (Worth Publishers), has just appeared. It contains little articles like those I have included on this blog (and, no doubt, some of the posts from this blog will be included in the fourth edition). I love many of the stories, but my all-time favorite from among the 700 that have been in the book's various editions combines several basic economic ideas:

Pretty Players, Please

The product sold is a combination of good tennis and beauty -- and consumer satisfaction is increased by more of both. Event planners would like the top-seeded players to be the most beautiful; absent that correlation, they believe customers are willing to trade off some tennis quality to watch more attractive players. Are they catering to customer discrimination, or are they merely indulging consumer preferences?

Is Untrustworthy the New Ugly?

| A Rice University study found that lenders may judge your creditworthiness based on how trustworthy they think you look. The researchers didn’t pinpoint which physical characteristics look most or least trustworthy, but if they do in the future, might plastic surgery go from a luxury good to a financially necessity? [%comments]