Attraction and Cooperative Behavior

University of Zurich Department of Economics Working Paper No. 82

38 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2012 Last revised: 26 Jun 2013

See all articles by Donja Darai

Donja Darai

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Silvia Grätz

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 26, 2013

Abstract

Being good-looking seems to generate substantial benefits in many social interactions, making the "beauty premium" a not to be underrated economic factor. This paper investigates how physical attractiveness enables people to generate these benefits in the case of cooperation, using field data from a modified one-shot prisoner's dilemma played in a high-stakes television game show. While attractive contestants are not more or less cooperative than less attractive ones, facial attractiveness produces more cooperative behavior by counterparts, but only in mixed-gender interactions. Effects of attractiveness are therefore not exclusively due to "beauty-is-good" stereotyping, but rather operate through a preference-based mechanism.

Keywords: Beauty premium, gender, stereotypes, attractiveness, cooperation

JEL Classification: C71, D03, D83

Suggested Citation

Darai, Donja and Grätz, Silvia, Attraction and Cooperative Behavior (June 26, 2013). University of Zurich Department of Economics Working Paper No. 82, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2087601 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2087601

Donja Darai (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Bluemlisalpstrasse 10
Zurich, 8006
Switzerland

Silvia Grätz

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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