Monday, October 12, 2009

How beautiful are our politicians?

Since the competence of our politicians is increasingly in doubt, people might like to ask are they good looking? See this paper for the answer, at least for Australia.

Beautiful Politicians

Amy King, Andrew Leigh
Are beautiful politicians more likely to be elected? To test this, we use evidence from Australia, a country in which voting is compulsory, and in which voters are given ‘How to Vote’ cards depicting photos of the major party candidates as they arrive to vote. Using raters chosen to be representative of the electorate, we assess the beauty of political candidates from major political parties, and then estimate the effect of beauty on voteshare for candidates in the 2004 federal election. Beautiful candidates are indeed more likely to be elected, with a one standard deviation increase in beauty associated with a 1½ – 2 percentage point increase in voteshare.

No comments: