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Your Looks Affect Your Income

This article was written by in Career and Work. 5 comments.

After education and experience are factored out, good-looking, tall people simply make more — 5 percent more — than average-looking individuals.

This study was released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Not only did they discover that beautiful people make more than average, but below-average looks carry a 9 percent penalty.

There could be several reasons for this. Maybe better-looking people can attract and keep more clients and more business, but that reason isn’t appropriate for every job. The Fed suggests “good, old-fashioned discrimination.”

Full disclosure: My height is below average. As far as looks, well I can only leave that up to other people to decide.

Published or updated April 11, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar whoknows

why, how tall are you?

avatar Anonymous

Isn’t there some statistic that the tallest US presidential candidate almost always wins?

avatar Luke Landes

If there is, it was proven wrong in 2004; Kerry towers over Bush. And for the record, I’m five-foot-four.

avatar Luke Landes

It certainly wasn’t the first study. Here’s more information. But making sense doesn’t always translate to statistical significance, so don’t let that be your only measure.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

I don’t think this is new information. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that before, and it just kind of makes sense. In general, people are more inclined to deal with people who are good looking. You’re more likely to listen to them and work with them because you don’t mind (or enjoy) looking at them. Conversely, who wants to look at an ugly person all day?