Bharat Express

Study finds children of attractive parents earn higher incomes than those from average-looking families

The study author expresses optimism that the research results will raise awareness of biases toward attractive individuals, potentially prompting corrective actions.

New research conducted by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research has revealed that children born to conventionally attractive parents tend to earn higher incomes than those from average-looking families. Titled ‘The Economic Impact of Heritable Physical Traits: Hot Parents, Rich Kid?’, the study explored the correlation between parental attractiveness and the financial success of their offspring. Analyzing data from both the United States and China, as well as among billionaires globally, researchers examined existing datasets tracking the attractiveness of parents and their children alongside the latter’s subsequent earnings.

Rather than relying on mathematical measurements like facial symmetry, the attractiveness of parents and children was assessed by external observers. The study unveiled that for every standard deviation above the average looks of their parents, a child’s yearly earnings increased by over $2,300.

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In an interview with EuroNews, Economist Daniel Hamermesh, a key figure in the study, emphasized that besides conventional assets such as property and savings, good looks could be considered an inherited asset contributing to enhanced income across generations. “Better-looking people are more likely to achieve financial and professional success throughout their lives,” Mr. Hamermesh remarked, highlighting the dual impact of parental attractiveness on a child’s prospects.

Having researched the link between success and physical attractiveness for over a decade, Mr. Hamermesh consistently found that attractive individuals are more likely to secure employment and receive higher salaries compared to their less attractive counterparts.

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While acknowledging the findings as “very depressing,” the study author likened the phenomenon to other forms of discrimination. However, Mr. Hamermesh remains optimistic that the research outcomes will raise awareness of biases towards attractive individuals and potentially prompt corrective action. “If you’re conscious of the fact that you’re discriminating, you’re much less likely to do so,” he noted, suggesting that mere awareness of such biases could mitigate their adverse effects.