Daniel Hamermesh’s latest book is Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. The book – as the title indicates – examines the link between attractiveness and a person’s economic success.
Hamermesh is a pioneer in this research, and it is this research that inspired a recent paper by Jennifer VanGilder, Rob Simmons, Lisle O’Neill, and myself. Earlier this year we published a study in Economic Letters that examined how a quarterback’s facial symmetry (a common measure of attractiveness) impacts his wage. As we have noted in the past, there was a link. Yes, better looking quarterback – after we controlled for the impact of performance – get paid more.
Yes, while people debate which team is the “best” before the games start playing, Reed and Jennifer went in a very different direction. And although their answers don’t really tell us much about future prospects on the field, the answers are interesting nevertheless. Here is a sample from the article:
- The Buffalo Bills are the best looking team (again, not the “best” team, just the “best-looking”)
- The Kansas City Chiefs are the least attractive
- The quarterbacks are the second-best looking
For the best looking position, check out the article.
Again, this article is certainly offers a very different look than all the other stories out there at the onset of the 2011 NFL season. And although facial symmetry doesn’t tell us who is going to win or lose, it does tell us which players are “looking good” out there (and at least for quarterbacks, facial symmetry does impact wages).