Unpacking the Beauty Premium: What Channels Does it Operate Through, and Has it Changed Over Time?

16 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014

See all articles by Jeff Borland

Jeff Borland

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House; Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU; IZA

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

Using data from representative samples of the Australian population in 1984 and 2009, we make two main contributions to analysis of the economic returns of beauty. First, we broaden analysis of the effects of beauty beyond the labour market to examine its relation to household income. We find that beauty significantly affects total household income – via respondents' probability of employment and their hours of work and hourly wage, and whether they have a partner who contributes income to the household. Second, we examine whether the returns to beauty in Australia changed between the 1980s and 2000s. It is found that, for the most part, the effect of beauty was constant across this period. There is, however, some evidence of an increasing effect of beauty on the likelihood that a female respondent is employed, which we suggest may be due to selection effects and the growth in female workforce participation.

Suggested Citation

Borland, Jeff and Leigh, Andrew, Unpacking the Beauty Premium: What Channels Does it Operate Through, and Has it Changed Over Time? (March 2014). Economic Record, Vol. 90, Issue 288, pp. 17-32, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2405255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1475-4932.12091

Jeff Borland (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia

Andrew Leigh

Australian House of Representatives Parliament House ( email )

Canberra, 2600
Australia

Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU ( email )

ANU College of Business and Economics
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

IZA ( email )

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
435
PlumX Metrics