Thursday, September 4, 2008

blonde and brunette fundraisers

When someone shows up on our doorstep looking for a charitable donation, does our potential donation depend on how attractive the fundraiser is? Does it depend on their hair color?

In a cute little paper published in Economics Letters, Michael Price shows that donations do depend on these factors. The better looking the fundraiser, the more we are likely to contribute. (That result isn't so surprising, given that a number of other papers have found a correlation between earnings and beauty.) He also shows that blondes bring in more than brunettes--even controlling for one's physical attractiveness. This means that the benefits of being beautiful are more significant for blondes than for brunettes. This blonde advantage is driven entirely from the donations of Caucasian households (non-white households display no blond preference).

Download the paper

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