Beauty and Academic Career

58 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2018 Last revised: 14 Aug 2019

See all articles by Yanju Liu

Yanju Liu

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy

Hai Lu

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Kevin J. Veenstra

McMaster University - DeGroote School of Business

Date Written: June 29, 2019

Abstract

We examine the impact of beauty on the academic career success of tenure-track accounting professors at top business schools in America, and show that beauty plays a significant role. Specifically, after controlling for gender, ethnicity, publication history, work experience, and quality of alma mater, more attractive professors obtain better first school placements post-PhD and are granted tenure in a shorter period of time. These findings are broadly consistent with behavioural theory which predicts that facial attractiveness irrationally affects the perception of performance characteristics. Interestingly, there is no incremental benefit of attractiveness for the career progression from associate to full professor. This finding is consistent with the notion that the role played by beauty in promotion diminishes when the individual’s ability and competency become apparent over time.

Keywords: beauty, accounting, career, labor market

JEL Classification: J24, J32, J44, J71, M51

Suggested Citation

Liu, Yanju and Lu, Hai and Veenstra, Kevin J., Beauty and Academic Career (June 29, 2019). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 3092844; Singapore Management University School of Accountancy Research Paper No. 2019-105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3092844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3092844

Yanju Liu

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy ( email )

60 Stamford Road
Singapore 178900
Singapore

Hai Lu (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Kevin J. Veenstra

McMaster University - DeGroote School of Business ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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