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Do looks matter for an academic career in economics?

Hale, Galina, Regev, Tali and Rubinstein, Yona ORCID: 0009-0000-5274-0252 (2023) Do looks matter for an academic career in economics? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 215. 406 - 420. ISSN 0167-2681

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jebo.2023.09.022


We show that physical appearance plays a role in the success of economics PhD graduates and investigate the underlying mechanisms driving this relationship. Leveraging a unique dataset of career and research productivity trajectories of PhD graduates from leading economics departments in the United States, we provide robust evidence that appearance is a predictive factor for both research productivity and job placement. Our analysis goes beyond establishing the association between attractiveness and success within the profession. By jointly examining appearance, job outcome, and research productivity, as well as the longitudinal development of the latter two over time, we show that the effect of appearance can be partially, but not fully, attributed to its role as a predictor of research productivity, with the remainder of the effect reflecting an intrinsic demand for attractiveness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 15:42
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 01:36

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