Beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the wallets of good-looking folks. Over the course of their work lives, conventionally attractive people make $230,000 more than less prepossessing employees and get better jobs and mortgages. Economist Daniel S. Hamermesh calls the difference in pay the “ugliness penalty” and believes unattractive people can sue to collect the balance under equal opportunity laws. Job discrimination on the basis of looks is already illegal in District of Columbia and some jurisdictions in California.
Dr. Hamermesh has written about this field of research in a book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful (2011, Princeton University Press). Although we personally find such comparisons odious, if you must know what the author looks like, click here.
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