Is this Labour's problem?

Daniel Hamermesh thinks there should be legal protections for ugly people:

Sometimes … being physically attractive is necessary to the performance of a job, or at least very advantageous. That’s true of fashion models, and also for many sales jobs. Studies have shown people are more inclined to buy from attractive salesmen… The case for eliminating discrimination based on race or gender is clearer to me because these characteristics normally do not signal anything about ability. But everyone is born with varying natural endowments which determine their success in life. Policy aiming to compensate for these differences can edge onto a slippery slope.

Labour could well be the scientific evidence for proving that Hamermesh is wrong.

Eric Crampton meanwhile looks at the economics of ugly people and politics.

I’d expect that there’d be any number of entrepreneurs helping folks uglify themselves before going in for their government attractiveness rating.

I’d noted a couple weeks ago discrimination against the ugly at the ballot box by uninformed voters. Niclas Berggren found similar results in Finnish data a while back as well

Seems there is something in this ugly candidates thingy. Finland also has proportional representation and so their case study shows a possible for solution for Labour’s current polling doldrums.

We study the role of beauty in politics using candidate photos that figured prominently in electoral campaigns. Our investigation is based on visual assessments of 1929 Finnish political candidates from 10,011 respondents (of which 3708 were Finnish). As Finland has a proportional electoral system, we are able to compare the electoral success of non-incumbent candidates representing the same party. An increase in our measure of beauty by one standard deviation is associated with an increase of 20% in the number of votes for the average non-incumbent parliamentary candidate. The relationship is unaffected by including education and occupation as control variables and withstands several other robustness checks.

 


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  • notavictim

    they obviously have never had the misfortune to see the clarkenfuhrer.

    • thor42

      Heh….. yeah……
      Gawd, she was UGLY. That “smile” that she had….. (shiver).
      Ok, John Key doesn’t set the world alight in the looks stakes, but he’s an Adonis compared to the Clark-beast.

  • Richard

    Its obviously OK to be ugly provided you are also badly groomed. Labour and the Maori Party MPs do not disappoint. Mana’s Hone needs a refresher on how to windsor knot his tie.

  • In further work, Berggren shows right wing voters are more responsive to candidate attractiveness. So not sure it would work for Labour.

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