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Beauty Pays

Book Description

Most of us know there is a payoff to looking good, and in the quest for beauty we spend countless hours and billions of dollars on personal grooming, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. But how much better off are the better looking? Based on the evidence, quite a lot. The first book to seriously measure the advantages of beauty, Beauty Pays demonstrates how society favors the beautiful and how better-looking people experience startling but undeniable benefits in all aspects of life. Noted economist Daniel Hamermesh shows that the attractive are more likely to be employed, work more productively and profitably, receive more substantial pay, obtain loan approvals, negotiate loans with better terms, and have more handsome and highly educated spouses. Hamermesh explains why this happens and what it means for the beautiful--and the not-so-beautiful--among us.

Exploring whether a universal standard of beauty exists, Hamermesh illustrates how attractive workers make more money, how these amounts differ by gender, and how looks are valued differently based on profession. He considers whether extra pay for good-looking people represents discrimination, and, if so, who is discriminating. Hamermesh investigates the commodification of beauty in dating and how this influences the search for intelligent or high-earning mates, and even examines whether government programs should aid the ugly. He also discusses whether the economic benefits of beauty will persist into the foreseeable future and what the "looks-challenged" can do to overcome their disadvantage.

Reflecting on a sensitive issue that touches everyone, Beauty Pays proves that beauty's rewards are anything but superficial.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half title
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Part I Background to Beauty
    1. Chapter I The Economics of Beauty
    2. Chapter II In the Eye of the Beholder
      1. Definitions of Beauty
      2. Why Do Beauty Standards Matter?
      3. How Do We Measure Human Beauty?
      4. Do Observers Agree on Beauty?
      5. Does Beauty Differ by Gender, Race, or Age? What Makes You Beautiful?
      6. Can We Become More Beautiful?
      7. The Stage Is Set
  8. Part II Beauty on the Job: What and Why
    1. Chapter III Beauty and the Worker
      1. The Central Questions
      2. How Can Beauty Affect Earnings?
      3. How Much More Do Good-Looking People Make?
      4. Why Are Beauty Effects Smaller Among Women?
      5. Do Beauty Effects Differ by Race?
      6. Do Beauty Effects Differ by Age?
      7. Compensating the Beauty-Damaged Worker?
      8. Looks Matter for Workers
    2. Chapter IV Beauty in Specific Occupations
      1. Beauty and Choosing an Occupation
      2. How Big Are Beauty Effects Where Beauty Might Matter?
      3. How Big Are Beauty Effects Where Beauty Might Not Matter?
      4. Sorting by Beauty
    3. Chapter V Beauty and the Employer
      1. The Puzzles
      2. Do Good-Looking Employees Raise Sales?
      3. How Does Beauty Affect Profits?
      4. How Can Companies Pay for Beauty and Survive?
      5. Do Companies with Better-Looking CEOs Perform Better?
      6. Beauty Helps Companies—Probably
    4. Chapter VI Lookism or Productive Beauty, and Why?
      1. What the Beauty Effect Means
      2. How Can Beauty Effects Be Discrimination?
      3. How Can Beauty Be Socially Productive?
      4. What Are the Sources of Beauty Effects?
      5. What Is the Direct Evidence on the Sources?
      6. The Importance of Beauty
  9. Part III Beauty in Love, Loans, and Law
    1. Chapter VII Beauty in Markets for Friends, Family, and Funds
      1. Beyond the Labor Market
      2. How Is Beauty Exchanged?
      3. How Does Beauty Affect Group Formation?
      4. How Does Beauty Affect Dating?
      5. How Does Beauty Affect Marriage?
      6. Could There Be a Market for Beautiful Children?
      7. Does Beauty Matter When You Borrow?
      8. Trading Beauty in Unexpected Places
    2. chapter VIII Legal Protection for the Ugly
      1. Fairness and Public Policy
      2. What Kinds of Protection Are Possible?
      3. How Have Existing Policies Been Used?
      4. Is It Possible to Protect the Ugly?
      5. What Justifies Protecting the Ugly?
      6. What Justifies Not Protecting the Ugly?
      7. What Is an Appropriate Policy?
      8. Protecting the Ugly in the Near Future
  10. Part IV The Future of Looks
    1. chapter IX Prospects for the Looks-Challenged
      1. The Beauty Conundrum
      2. Are Beautiful People Happier?
      3. What Will Be Beautiful? What Should Be?
      4. What Can Society Do?
      5. What Can You Do If You’re Bad-Looking?
  11. Notes
  12. Index