Numerous studies show that good-looking people earn more. A recent study by the London School of Economics and Political Science again confirmed this theory is generally correct.
But the same study also found, surprisingly, that extremely unattractive people actually earn the most.
Based on data collected in a study of 20,000 young Americans for over more than two decades, Satoshi Kanazawa of LSE tried to establish the relationship between one’s looks and income.
Respondents were classified into five groups according to their physical appearances – very unattractive, not attractive, average looking, attractive and very attractive.
Kanazawa found that physical attractiveness, in general, proves to be a financial boon.
This is not surprising, as we all know life is usually easier for beautiful people. As human beings like pretty faces, being good-looking goes a long way in the office, even at school and in the family.
Yet quite unexpectedly, those in the “very unattractive” category in the study turned out earning much more than average-looking people, and they also earn more than those grouped as most attractive.
Kanazawa did not explicitly give an explanation for this. But the very unattractive usually have higher IQ and are better educated, according to his observation.
Perhaps, for the very unattractive people, they know they have to rely on something else to compete in the world, and thus are more willing to study hard, cultivate their talents, or build up their social networks.
Over time, these efforts pay off and they become better educated and more capable, thus the higher income.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 11
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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