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The Role of Body Size in Economic Research Above and Beyond Beauty

Sonia Oreffice and Climent Quintana-Domeque ()

No 35, CHILD Working Papers Series from Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA

Abstract: We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview in a nation- ally representative sample is related to weight, height, and body mass index (BMI), separately by gender and accounting for interviewers' characteristics or fixed effects. We also compute the non-anthropometric residual attractiveness, and present novel estimates of how non-anthropometric attractiveness and anthropometric attributes are related to labor and marital outcomes such as hourly wage and spousal educa- tion. We show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, and that anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers when assessing male attractiveness. In addition, we estimate that non-anthropometric attractiveness and height matter for both men and women in the labor market, while BMI plays a stronger role than (residual) beauty in the marriage market.

Keywords: Attractiveness; Body Mass Index; Height; Weight; Wage; Spousal Education. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J01 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-lab
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