Today, we have a guest post from UofC Economics PhD student Kent Fellows:
My Dad recently forwarded this link from the Globe and Mail. The article discusses a working paper by Anindya Sen, Marcel Voia and Frances Woolley in which data from www.ratemyprofessors.com is used to estimate the returns to physical attractiveness or "Hotness" among professors. Their conclusion is that more attractive professors not only earn more, but that their attractiveness is also highly correlated with their teaching productivity, and not their research productivity.
Dad is a recently retired professor emeritus, so I am not exactly sure of his interest in this topic. I have yet to ask him weather he feels that the family genes with respect to appearance improved his earnings or not.
From the Abstract:
"Although a relatively small proportion of our sample is rated “hot” by students, hotness generates, for some, a significant earnings premium, even with comprehensive controls for productivity. We find a strong relationship between hotness and teaching productivity, but a much weaker relationship between hotness and research productivity. The unique contribution of this paper is the use of data on actual productivity, which is generally unavailable in papers assessing the returns to appearance."
The main results suggest that for economics professors, being male and attractive is the best combination to improve earnings. Does this suggest that professional development resources in the department could be better spent on trips to the tropics to get a better tan and in house image consultants?
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