2006–2010

The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success

Reprint No. 2010:2

Author(s): Niclas Berggren, Henrik Jordahl and Panu PoutvaaraYear: 2010 Title: Journal of Public Economics Volume (No.): 94 (1-2) Pages: 8–15
Online article (restrictions may apply)


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.


Reference:
Berggren, Niclas, Henrik Jordahl and Panu Poutvaara (2010), "The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success". Journal of Public Economics 94(1-2), 8–15.

Niclas Berggren

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Ph: +46 8 665 4520
niclas.berggren@ifn.se

Henrik Jordahl

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4533
Mob: +46 70 938 3858
henrik.jordahl@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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