When does Beauty Pay?

We investigate the dynamic effects of beauty over an individual’s career. Using a fine grained longitudinal sample on career milestones and educational background of 7436 individuals selected from an online professional social network and employing computer vision methods for rating attractiveness of individuals, we find that men enjoy a beauty premium early in their career which disappears later in the career. In contrast, women do not receive a beauty premium early in their career. Rather they receive a beauty premium later in their career. We show these effects through a survival analysis where attractive men are found to progress faster in their career early on and women and found to progress faster in their later career in comparison to their unattractive counterparts respectively. We find that the overall beauty premium is greater for women. These results are robust to a number of control variables and individual unobserved heterogeneity. We provide theoretical reasoning that rationalizes these findings.

CIST (INFORMS) 2017 - Won Best Student Paper Award 

Marketing Science 2018