Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research

38 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper


We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview is related to weight (controlling for height), and BMI, separately by gender and also accounting for interviewer fixed effects, in a nationally representative sample. We are the first to show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, whereas only thinner female respondents are considered attractive by same-sex interviewers; that is, anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers in assessing male attractiveness. In addition, we estimate the interplay of these attractiveness and anthropometric measures in labor and marital outcomes such as hourly wage and spousal education, showing that attractiveness and height matter in the labor market, whereas both male and female BMI are valued in the marriage market instead of attractiveness.

Keywords: beauty, BMI, height, weight, wage, spousal education

JEL Classification: D1, J1

Suggested Citation

Oreffice, Sonia and Quintana-Domeque, Climent, Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8527, Available at SSRN: or

Sonia Oreffice (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

Climent Quintana-Domeque

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics