Wednesday, January 20, 2010

beauty and success in elections

In the February issue of the Journal of Public Economics, Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl, and Panu Poutvaara present evidence that a political candidate's physical beauty affects voting in elections. Using data on 1929 Finnish political candidates, the researchers show that (from their abstract):
An increase in our measure of beauty by one standard deviation is associated with an increase of 20% in the number of votes fro the average non-incumbent parliamentary candidate. The relationship is unaffected by including education and occupation as control variables and withstands several other robustness checks.

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