Beauty in the Classroom: Professors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedagogical Productivity

21 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2003

See all articles by Daniel S. Hamermesh

Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Amy M. Parker

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2003

Abstract

Adjusted for many other determinants, beauty affects earnings; but does it lead directly to the differences in productivity that we believe generate earnings differences? We take a large sample of student instructional ratings for a group of university professors, acquire six independent measures of their beauty and a number of other descriptors of them and their classes. Instructors who are viewed as better looking receive higher instructional ratings, with the impact of a move from the 10th to the 90th percentile of beauty being substantial. This impact exists within university departments and even within particular courses, and is larger for male than for female instructors. Disentangling whether this outcome represents productivity or discrimination is, as with the issue generally, probably impossible.

Suggested Citation

Hamermesh, Daniel S. and Parker, Amy M., Beauty in the Classroom: Professors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedagogical Productivity (July 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9853. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=425589

Daniel S. Hamermesh (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8526 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Amy M. Parker

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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