EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

'O Youth and Beauty:' Children's Looks and Children's Cognitive Development

Daniel Hamermesh, Rachel A. Gordon () and Robert Crosnoe ()
Additional contact information
Rachel A. Gordon: University of Illinois at Chicago
Robert Crosnoe: University of Texas at Austin

No 12708, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We use data from the 11 waves of the U.S. Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development 1991-2005, following children from ages 6 months through 15 years. Observers rated videos of them, obtaining measures of looks at each age. Given their family income, parents' education, race/ethnicity and gender, being better-looking raised subsequent changes in measurements of objective learning outcomes. The gains imply a long-run impact on cognitive achievement of about 0.04 standard deviations per standard deviation of differences in looks. Similar estimates on changes in reading and arithmetic scores at ages 7, 11 and 16 in the U.K. National Child Development Survey 1958 cohort show larger effects. The extra gains persist when instrumenting children's looks by their mother's, and do not work through teachers' differential treatment of better-looking children, any relation between looks and a child's behavior, his/her victimization by bullies or self-confidence. Results from both data sets show that a substantial part of the economic returns to beauty result indirectly from its effects on educational attainment. A person whose looks are one standard deviation above average attains 0.4 years more schooling than an otherwise identical average-looking individual.

Keywords: education; learning; beauty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I26 J71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2019-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ltv and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Published - published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2023, 212, 275–289

Downloads: (external link)
https://docs.iza.org/dp12708.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: O Youth and Beauty: Children’s Looks and Children’s Cognitive Development (2019) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12708

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2024-07-18
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12708