FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2014 .106

Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research

Authors: Sonia Oreffice, Climent Quintana-Domeque
Series: Economy and Society
Editor: Giuseppe Sammarco
Keywords: Beauty, BMI, Height, Weight, Wage, Spousal Education 
JEL n.: D1, J1


We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview is related to weight (controlling for height), and BMI, separately by gender and also accounting for interviewer fixed effects, in a nationally representative sample. We are the first to show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, whereas only thinner female respondents are considered attractive by same-sex interviewers; that is, anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers in assessing male attractiveness. In addition, we estimate the interplay of these attractiveness and anthropometric measures in labor and marital outcomes such as hourly wage and spousal education, showing that attractiveness and height matter in the labor market, whereas both male and female BMI are valued in the marriage market instead of attractiveness.


Suggested citation: Oreffice, S., C. Quintana-Domeque, (2014), 'Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research', Nota di Lavoro 106.2014, Milan, Italy: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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