Abstract

This article analyzes the effect of three aspects of physical attractiveness (facial attractiveness, Body Mass Index and height) on socio-economic and marital success over the life course. In a sample of high school graduates from Wisconsin followed from their late teens and until their mid-60s, I find that (1. taller men have higher earnings than shorter men throughout their careers, (2. women with more attractive faces and women with lower Body Mass Index have higher socio-economic status late in their careers, (3. men and women with more attractive faces are more likely to be married in youth, and (4. men and women's physical attractiveness is unrelated to the income and socio-economic status of their spouses. These results suggest that, first, physical attractiveness matters throughout the life course, second, attractiveness does not have a large quantitative effect on socio-economic and marital outcomes and third, different aspects of physical attractiveness matter differently for men and women.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-7605
Print ISSN
0037-7732
Pages
pp. 983-1003
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-04
Open Access
No
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