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

42 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 23, 2014


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: D01, J01

Suggested Citation

Oreffice, Sonia and Quintana-Domeque, Climent, Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research (December 23, 2014). FEEM Working Paper No. 106.2014, Available at SSRN: or

Sonia Oreffice

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

Climent Quintana-Domeque (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics