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Beauty and Adolescent Risky Behaviours

Colin Green (), Luke Wilson () and Anwen Zhang ()
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Luke Wilson: University of Sheffield

Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Abstract: A growing body of research demonstrates marked labour market bene?ts from physical attractiveness. Yet, how physical attractiveness in?uences earlier consequential decisions is not well understood. This paper estimates the effect of attractiveness in adolescence on one set of consequential outcomes, engagement in risky behaviours. We ?nd robust evidence of marked effects of teenage attractiveness across a range of risky behaviours, including underage drinking, smoking, substance abuse and teenage sexual activity. More attractive individuals are more likely to engage in underage drinking, but markedly less likely to smoke or to be sexual active. Mediation analysis reveals that popularity, self-esteem, and personality attractiveness are likely underlying mechanisms. Our ?ndings suggest physical attractiveness in adolescence carries long-lasting consequences over the life course.

Keywords: beauty; risky behaviours; adolescent development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ure
Date: 2019-10-15
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