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Shape Matters: Evidence from Machine Learning on Body Shape-Income Relationship

Suyong Song and Stephen S. Baek

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Abstract: We study the association between physical appearance and family income using a novel data which has 3-dimensional body scans to mitigate the issue of reporting errors and measurement errors observed in most previous studies. We apply machine learning to obtain intrinsic features consisting of human body and take into account a possible issue of endogenous body shapes. The estimation results show that there is a significant relationship between physical appearance and family income and the associations are different across the gender. This supports the hypothesis on the physical attractiveness premium and its heterogeneity across the gender.

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Date: 2019-06
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1906.06747