Do Pimples Pay? Acne, Human Capital, and the Labor Market

31 Pages Posted: 5 May 2017  

Hugo M. Mialon

Emory University - Department of Economics

Erik Nesson

Ball State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 5, 2017

Abstract

We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to investigate the association between having acne in middle to high school and subsequent educational and labor market outcomes. We find that the shock of having acne is positively associated with overall grade point average in high school, grades in high-school English, history, math, and science, and the completion of a college degree. The associations are stronger for women and whites than for men and blacks. We also find some evidence that acne is associated with higher personal labor market earnings for women. Knowledge of these associations may provide consolation and hope to teenagers suffering from acne. We further explore possible channels through which acne may affect education and earnings.

Keywords: Acne, grades, educational attainment, wages

JEL Classification: I12, I26, J24

Suggested Citation

Mialon, Hugo M. and Nesson, Erik, Do Pimples Pay? Acne, Human Capital, and the Labor Market (May 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2964045

Hugo M. Mialon (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )

1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Erik Nesson

Ball State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States

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