Working Paper No. 803

Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success

Published: June 26, 2009Pages: 16Keywords: Babyfacedness; Competence; Beauty; Trustworthiness; ElectionsJEL-codes: D72; J45; J70

Faces of Politicians: Babyfacedness Predicts Inferred Competence but Not Electoral Success Panu Poutvaara, Henrik Jordahl and Niclas Berggren


Recent research has documented that competent-looking political candidates do better in U.S. elections and that babyfaced individuals are generally perceived to be less competent than maturefaced individuals. Taken together, this suggests that babyfaced political candidates are perceived as less competent and therefore fare worse in elections. We test this hypothesis, making use of photograph-based judgments by 2,772 respondents of the facial appearance of 1,785 Finnish political candidates. Our results confirm that babyfacedness is negatively related to inferred competence in politics. Despite this, babyfacedness is either unrelated or positively related to electoral success, depending on the sample of candidates.

Niclas Berggren

Contact

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

Elgar Companion to

Social Capital and Health

Martin Ljunge okt 2018.jpg

Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

About the book

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se